Rain and fog caused two-hour delay of warm-up sessions before the race.
MOTEGI: Dani Pedrosa came from behind to grab his first win of the season in stunning fashion at the Japan Grand Prix on Sunday, while championship leader Valentino Rossi finished second.
The Spanish Honda rider clocked 46min 50.767sec for his 50th career victory on a drying track after rain, 8.573sec ahead of Rossi on Yamaha and 12.127sec in front of Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
The results meant the Italian stretched his championship points lead over his closest rival Lorenzo to 18, with three more races to go, followed by distant third Marc Marquez.
Lorenzo, fastest rider in all four practice sessions in dry conditions, controlled the first half of the race as drizzle fell and appeared destined for another victory.
The Spanish Yamaha rider, who won the Japan Grand Prix in 2014, 2013 and 2009 and finished second in 2012 and 2011, went wide on the first corner after the start and allowed Rossi briefly to take the lead.
But Lorenzo quickly overtook the Italian on the following straight and began building up a long lead — until Pedrosa started to speed up halfway through the race.
Heavy rain showers and dense fog in the morning had caused a two-hour delay of warm up sessions before the race.
But midway through the MotoGP race, the rain stopped and a dry line began to appear where riders travelled, starting to damage wet tyres for Lorenzo and Rossi who pushed hard from the start, expecting the full wet condition to last.
Pedrosa started from the sixth on the grid and stayed fourth in early laps, but demonstrated an electrifying charge from lap 15 of the 24-lap race when he caught and passed Rossi.
Two laps later, he stormed past Lorenzo whose front tyre deteriorated further.
Rossi attempted to keep up with Pedrosa, and quickly caught Lorenzo.
In lap 19, stressed Lorenzo rode wide in a corner and decelerated, letting the Italian to pass through and leave him far behind.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2015.
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