Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa has taken a fantastic win – his first since Brno GP 2014 and his 50th of his career (8 x 125cc, 15 x 250cc, 27 x MotoGP) – at Honda’s home race in Japan.
With rain arriving this morning and delaying proceedings, the MotoGP warm up was delayed to 11h20am and the riders had a frantic twenty minutes to prepare the wet setup on their machines. As the race began, Pedrosa made up some positions from 6th place to 4th and by Lap 8 the Spaniard had begun to find a good rhythm and started to close the gap to third-placed Dovizioso.
After passing the Italian on Lap 11, reached Dovizioso on lap eleven and after the Italian made a small error, Pedrosa began to hunt down Rossi who was four seconds ahead.
Pedrosa made his move and passed the Doctor on Lap 16 and passed him into second place. Then two laps later, Pedrosa passed Lorenzo and began building a commanding lead, controlling the final seven laps and winning by a massive 8.5 seconds.
A rejuvenated Pedrosa said: “I’m so happy with this win! It has been a long time since my last one and I’m really pleased. It was a fun race, because at first I took things calmly and lost too much time, but the strategy worked out because afterwards I recovered ground gradually. I had a special feeling at that point in the race and I’m happy to take this victory for Honda at their home track, for the team, the sponsors, my friends and family, because it has been a difficult season. It’s not been an easy weekend here in Japan, I’d also like to wish Alex De Angelis all the best and hope he recovers soon.”
Pedrosa remains the most successful rider at Motegi with five wins (2011,12,15 in MotoGP; 2004 in 250cc; 2002 in 125cc). He now moves up two places in the rider standings to 5th on 154 points.