MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 15: Japan GP > Race Results
MotoGPJapanSeptember 28, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 15
Japan Grand Prix at Motegi

Determined Dani Takes Podium Place As Rossi Wins

Qualifying >>

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) rode to his first rostrum position since the Dutch TT in June today and showed he is on the way back to form as Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) won to clinch the World Championship with Casey Stoner (Ducati) second.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

Stoner powered off the line to lead the field into turn one with Dani and Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) on his tail and in short order the lead trio turned out to be Stoner, Rossi and Pedrosa. Dani showing he had the pace to pursue the title protagonists that he had sometimes lacked this year. His first dry race with the Bridgestone tyre and pneumatic-valve RC212V combination was proving highly competitive.

The early battle between these three title rivals proved to be as fierce as anything seen so far this season and as Stoner put a hard pass on Dani on the run-up to the bridge section of the track (a move for which he later apologized) and Dani lost ground on the lead duo.

Nicky couldn’t quite match the pace of the front-runners either and he was shortly overhauled by Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) for fourth. By lap seven of this 24-lap affair it seemed the order had been established for a three-way dust up for the podium places, but Dani couldn’t quite stay with Stoner and Rossi.

Rossi was hunting Stoner down but took time to make his move on the Aussie World Champion such was the Ducati man’s pace in the first half of this race. But Rossi seized his moment on lap 14 and from then on he was never troubled on his march to the flag and World Championship number six in the premier class.

Dani’s third place was soon in jeopardy from the hard-charging Lorenzo and Pedrosa’s Spanish rival tried everything he could to steal the final podium spot from his rival. They clashed on the final lap, Lorenzo’s front wheel bashing Dani’s exhaust system.

It was the redoubtable Dani who prevailed however and this is first podium place since the Dutch TT in June. Nicky would have liked nothing more than another rostrum finish after his US success but he had to be content with fifth here today.

Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) was eighth and this seasoned campaigner’s 12th top ten finish of the season was well deserved, and some compensation for the 17th place finish of his team-mate Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V).

Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) was disappointed with his ninth place, knowing he had the race pace to finish higher. Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V), who’s injured wrist is still troubling him, had to settle for 12th at the flag.

250cc Grand Prix
Marco Simoncelli recorded Gilera’s first win here at Motegi when he pipped Aprilia rider Alvaro Bautista to the line after the Spanish man pressured him in the closing stages. Alex Debon (Aprilia) was third and Julian Simon (KTM) fourth.

Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) rode with typical verve at his home track but could do no better than sixth at the flag, and 19 seconds away from the winner. Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW) finished 13th.

Simoncelli now has 215 points to Bautista’s 183 with three races left to run.

125cc Grand Prix
Stefan Bradl (Aprilia) won this race by 0.151 seconds from series points leader Mike Di Meglio (Derbi) with Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) third. This result helps Di Meglio in his title quest as his main rival Simone Corsi could only manage sixth place.

Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd.
“Third place was not so bad today, though of course I tried to be faster. I have had some difficult races recently and some injuries, so it was a good feeling to be competitive again. I wasn’t so fast at the beginning of the race, I expected to be faster. Later on I was able to improve my pace, my times got better lap by lap, so I am happy about that. My pitboard told me that Lorenzo was coming, I got ‘plus zero’, ‘plus zero’, ‘plus zero’. I expected him to get faster because he was chasing me. On the last lap he touched me but I was able to stay on the bike. My thanks to Honda and to Bridgestone. Also congratulations to Valentino [Rossi, who won today’s race to seal his sixth premier-class crown], he rode a great race.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 5th.
“I got a pretty good start and was certainly in the mix there for a couple of laps but they just had a little bit more pace everywhere. I tried to make up for it a few times on the brakes, but I just didn’t have the pace. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I had high expectations, I thought maybe we could get in there and find something extra for the race. We rode about as hard as we could and it got harder as the tyres went away. That pack was coming for me, I just tried to not make any mistakes, keep my rhythm and hold them off. I knew there was a couple of guys chasing but I didn’t know there was that many coming for me. The bandana I wore on the grid, some fan gave it to me yesterday. I wore it for qualifying and got on the front row, so I figured, try it again. Congratulations to Valentino [Rossi, who won today’s race to claim his eighth world title]. I know what it takes to win one and it takes a bad dude to win eight of them. Much respect.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 8th.
“I didn’t make the best start but I tried to push straight away to recover ground and I managed to pass some riders on the first lap. Then I made a mistake and lost the rear, which cost me a few positions. I got past Edwards again on the brakes and stayed behind him for the rest of the race. I spent a few laps trying to work out where I could pass him but he was very strong on corner exit and under braking. Towards the end I had Capirossi in front of me so I tried to overtake again but Dovizioso was very close behind and it was a tough situation to judge. In the end I decided it was better to defend than attack and even though eighth place is not what I wanted it is at least an improvement on recent results. Now I feel I have my confidence back and that makes me look forward to the final three races.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 9th.
"Today I worked hard to catch up with the leaders. I finished the race in ninth but my race pace was good enough to get fifth. The race was decided in the early laps: in the first turn we were all in a group and no one had any intention of leaving space for others! It was a tough race, and I was riding hard and taking many risks to try and gain positions. At one point I almost touched Nakano, then I was confronted with a group of riders that brake hard like me, including John Hopkins and James Toseland and it took many laps to pass them, after which I was tired. I continued to push, and maybe the result would have been different if I had managed to stay behind Nicky Hayden, when he pulled away, but that is racing.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 12th.
“Honestly we expected a better race here. I made a good start but in the first corner Dovizioso braked to late and went a bit wide. I tried to pass him in the inside but some riders overtook me because did not have enough corner speed. So I lost few places finishing the first lap in 14th place. After that I tried to remain concentrated but the bike started to slide. However at 4 laps to go I caught Hopkins and Toseland but was impossible for me to pass them. Besides my wrist started to ache a lot and did my best to finish the race”.

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 17th.
“It has been a really tough weekend because despite the best efforts of the team we haven’t managed to find a setting that has allowed me to ride comfortably at this track. I want to thank my mechanics because I’ve had three crashes here but they’ve done a great job to fix the bike and I’m disappointed not to get a better result for them. I tried to push hard over the opening laps but I kept running wide and never found my rhythm. It has been a day to forget but we have to stay positive because now we go to Phillip Island, which is one of my favourite tracks, and I want to bounce back. It has been a tough experience here but one we can use in our favour.”

Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 6th.
"I started in eighth place on the grid and I wanted to retrieve many positions, because I knew that Simoncelli was a step above the others, but in the early laps the bike slid a lot and I could not push hard, so I kept onto the tail of the group. Then in middle of the race the situation improved and I could be faster. I must thank the team for their excellent work during the whole weekend. Today we could not do any more, but after the good results recently, the evidence pointed to a better result. In championship we have gained important points, and we must give our utmost to achieve the fifth position. Together with the team can do this."

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 13th.
“I had a very good start and got up to ninth position. I tried to do everything I could, but it was not enough as some riders passed me with ease because they had a better pace than me. From the ninth lap I noticed the rear tyre sliding a lot, which made me hesitate a little. I’m leaving with a bad taste in my mouth, as I really wanted to do very well here at Motegi.”

Cyril Carrillo, FFM Honda: 26th.
“It was a difficult race on a very technical track and I found it hard to improve. I am lacking top level riding time and still have a lot of work to do. Though I made a good start I wasn’t able to stay in a good pack and found myself alone. I really pushed the bike hard. I felt better than in the practice runs, but my efforts didn¹t lead to improved times in the race.”

MotoGP World Championship Round 15
Japan Grand Prix at Motegi

1 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
2 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
3 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
5 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
7 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
8 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
9 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
10 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
11 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
12 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
13 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
14 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
15 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
1 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
2 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
3 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
4 Julian SIMON (Repsol KTM 250cc)
5 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
6 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
7 Aleix ESPARGARO (Lotus Aprilia)
8 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
9 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
10 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
11 Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
12 Lukas PESEK (Auto Kelly - CP)
13 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
14 Shoya TOMIZAWA (Project U FRS)
15 Fabrizio LAI (Campetella Racing)
1 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing)
2 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
3 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
4 Joan OLIVE (Belson Derbi)
5 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
6 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
7 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
8 Scott REDDING (Blusens Aprilia Junior)
9 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar Team)
10 Danny WEBB (Degraaf Grand Prix)
11 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (ISPA KTM Aran)
12 Raffaele DE ROSA (Onde 2000 KTM)
13 Takaaki NAKAGAMI (I.C. Team)
14 Efren VAZQUEZ (Blusens Aprilia Junior)
15 Alexis MASBOU (Loncin Racing)

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