The rain gods smiled down on Motegi, Japan today and provided a timely start to the second GP race of the season, after rainy conditions forced race officials to cancel the GP’s qualifying session on Saturday. The Japanese GP wasn’t without incident however, as several riders failed to finish the race due to various incidents and events. This is of course code for you to read further, and to help us curb spoilers for those who haven’t sat down with their Tivo yet. Needless to say, continue reading to see a full race report on the Polini Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi.
With a very controlling ride on the Japanese circuit, it was Jorge Lorenzo who emerged victorious at the Polini Grand Prix of Japan at Twin Ring Motegi. The Fiat Yamaha rider took little time in taking control of the race from his front row start, and had little opposition from the trailing Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi. Rossi would trail Lorenzo by almost 2 seconds at the end of the race, giving the Factory Yamaha team a 1-2 finish for the weekend. This is the second podium for Lorenzo, and also gives the Spainard a lead by 1 point in the overall Championship standings. He is followed by Rossi who has 40pts, and Stoner who has 38 pts.
Playing down his current lead, Lorenzo stated:
“I am the leader in the championship but I still think that (Casey) Stoner, Valentino (Rossi) and (Dani) Pedrosa are stronger than us. They are more experienced with the Bridgestone tires but we are still learning about them and improving.”
The battle for second place was more heated than for first, as Repsol Honda man Dani Pedrosa exchanged overtaking moves in the middle third of the 24 laps with Valentino Rossi. Rossi proved to be the better man, and Pedrosa had to settle for third, which was still a strong finish for the man who started on the fourth row of the grid.
Taking fourth place, Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner was unable to break away as he had done in Qatar, whereas Andrea Dovizioso completed a fine day for Repsol Honda in fifth, ahead of Marco Melandri, Loris Capirossi, Mika Kallio, James Toseland and Chris Vermeulen.
Home rider Yuki Takahashi crashed out of the race in a collision with Nicky Hayden on the second lap. There has been no word so far if Hayden’s crash has affected his previous injuries from Qatar. Sete Gibernau was also a no-show at the finish line, with his Ducati finding the gravel trap after 7 laps.
Race Results of the 2009 MotoGP Grand Prix of Japan in Motegi:
|11||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||44’32.072||44.834|
|13||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||HONDA||44’40.763||53.525|
|15||24||Toni ELIAS||HONDA||44’25.681||1 lap|
|59||Sete GIBERNAU||DUCATI||41’40.115||7 laps|
|Not finished first lap|