Motegi : MotoGP - Race
Loris Capirossi repeated his 2005 victory at Twin Ring Motegi in the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan, doing so in a similar fashion to his runaway win at Sepang two weeks ago.
The Ducati rider, starting from pole, was only troubled in the early stages
by Marco Melandri, but broke free and never looked back en route to a third win of 2006.
Although hardly a masterclass in overtaking skill, the Japanese race added further excitement to the battle for the World Title, as Valentino Rossi took second place and cut the gap between himself and Nicky Hayden to 12 points as the American finished off the podium once more.
An all-Italian podium was completed by Marco Melandri, who gave Honda the constructor's title at their home circuit and moved up to a definitive third position in the classification (he started the race level on points with Dani Pedrosa).
Sete Gibernau took another fourth spot, holding off a last lap challenge from Shinya Nakano that saw the local hero crash out of the race and allow Hayden to move up a place to fifth, preventing his lead in the standings being cut to 11. Toni Elias rounded off the top six with one of his finest rides of the season, and Hayden had struggled to pass the Spaniard early on. Dani Pedrosa, who never really took to the circuit, came in seventh ahead of Colin Edwards.
Kenny Roberts and Makoto Tamada, the highest placing home rider, rounded off the first ten past the line. Aside from Nakano's late crash, there were also incidents for Jose Luis Cardoso, Casey Stoner and Randy de Puniet, without serious consequences for either rider Despite early predictions of a typhoon approaching the isolated Japanese track, the crowd were treated to glorious sunshine with hardly a cloud in the sky.
DORNA / CAPSIS International