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Pedrosa takes the victory at Motegi

Dani Pedrosa took his third victory of the season in a dramatic Grand Prix of Japan with Casey Stoner alongside him on the podium in third position and with Andrea Dovizioso finishing fifth.

Today, Dani celebrates the 400th win for a Spaniard in Grand Prix racing and has given the Repsol Honda Team its first ever victory at the Motegi circuit. It's also the first win for Honda at this track since Makoto Tamada was victorious aboard his Camel Honda in 2004. Joining Dani on the podium, accepting the constructors trophy was Mr. Takanobu Ito - President, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director of Honda.

Casey, Dani and Andrea made a fantastic start and led the race as a pack for the first four laps, but then Casey experienced a big wobble on lap five and ended up running off the track, narrowly avoiding the barrier. Andrea whilst leading the race, was then given a ride through penalty for a jump start. Dani took the lead and improved his pace lap by lap to take a comfortable win by more than seven seconds ahead of Lorenzo. Casey was able to fight his way back up the field to finish on the podium taking important points for the Championship. After his penalty, Andrea also got back on the pace quickly and had a great battle with Marco Simoncelli on the final two laps for fourth position. Unfortunately he struggled with the tyres after such an effort to get back in front and was overtaken by Simoncelli on the last lap.

With three races to go, Casey Stoner is leading the World Championship standings, forty points ahead of Lorenzo, with Dovizioso and Pedrosa third and fourth, separated by just one point.

Dani Pedrosa – 1st – World Championship Position: 4th with 195 points
"I'm super happy with this victory, for the team that has been working so well, for HRC because this is the first win in Motegi with the Repsol Honda Team and for myself because it is the first time I've won here in MotoGP after doing so in 125cc and 250cc. The race was strange at the beginning with Stoner and Dovi really fast on the first few laps, they pulled away and then Casey had some problem and Andrea had a ride through due to his jump start. I was alone in front with Lorenzo very close, but I tried to put my head down and push every lap to pull away. I'm really happy because at this track I've had a mix of good and bad results and some bad injuries, so come back one year later and win in MotoGP is fantastic".

Jorge Lorenzo - 2nd - World Championship Position: 2nd with 260 points
“I didn’t expect such a strange race, Casey going wide and Dovi having a ride through. I thought it was possible to fight with Dani but he came better and better, I think he was inspired today and at a very high level of riding. He decided the victory and I couldn’t follow him. To win now is almost impossible, just maybe some small possibilities! A big thank you to my team who worked so hard this weekend to make a very competitive bike and thank you to all the Japanese fans who came out to support us. ”

Casey Stoner – 3rd – World Championship Position: 1st with 300 points
"The whole weekend had gone so well for us and even the start of the race we got a great start and everything felt good in the first laps and I was able to pull a small advantage. Andrea was riding very well on the soft tyre compound and we knew ours would work well towards the end of the race, so the pace we had at that stage I was very comfortable with. As I came out of the back straight I got a wobble on the bike, we hit the big bump and as the front came down it practically shook the bars out of my hands, I was lucky to hold on. I went for the brakes and there was nothing there so I had to pump them up a couple of times, when I pumped it the second time if flicked me up over the front and I was lucky to stay on the bike. Thankfully I avoided hitting the wall at the end of the gravel trap but this pretty much ended our race. It's really disappointing as we had the bike to win here today, but in the end I guess I should be thankful that we were able to climb back up to a podium spot after other peoples misfortunes and mistakes on track. I'm looking forward to going to Phillip Island now and to see what we an achieve there, I've got a Championship lead to protect but I also want to win races which is why I'm disappointed here today".

Valentino Rossi - DNF - World Championship Position: 6th with 139 points
“It’s really a shame to be out of the race after two corners, especially after the progress that we made this weekend, and with the knowledge that we’d worked on the bike well. I was fourth in the morning warm-up, and it would have been possible to have a pace in the high 1:46 range. I also think our choice of tyres for the race—hard on the back and soft on the front—was correct. When you also consider the troubles that Stoner, Simoncelli and Dovizioso had, we could have fought for the podium, which would have been really nice for us. We were a little unlucky. Unfortunately, Lorenzo went onto the grass slightly in Turn 1, and in the next turn he moved suddenly to get his trajectory right. He didn’t see me because I was slightly behind. When he touched me, it pushed me into Spies, who touched my front brake lever. It was normal racing contact, but I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anyway, we did a good job this weekend, and we were more competitive than usual. It’s a challenging time for us, but we hope we’re on the right path.”

Ben Spies - 6th - World Championship Position: 5th with 156 points
“It was a bitter sweet race for sure, we had a great start and the bike was feeling really good. I was in a perfect position coming out of turn three, right behind Dovi when I was hit from the back. I lost one hand off the handlebar and didn’t have much control going into the gravel trap. I tried to slow the bike as much as I could before tipping over. When I got back on track I knew there were a couple of slower guys out there so we could probably get some points. I got my head down and pushed and thought a top ten was possible. The groups kept coming back to me and the lap times were good so we got a good result considering. It’s unfortunate because I really think if we had clear track and started well we could have been in 46s all race long and battled for the podium. That’s racing, it sucks but there you go. I’m not going to blame anybody it’s just a shame, we’ll move on.”

Andrea Dovizioso – 5th – World Championship Position: 3rd with 196 points
“I cannot believe it. I have never had a false start in my career and it happened today, in a race where I felt that I could fight for the win! I don’t know why the bike moved a little before the green light but I realised it immediately and expected the ride through. In the first laps I had a good feeling and I was pushing hard because I knew I was the only rider up there with soft tyres, in my opinion this was the right choice today and I was catching Casey. Then Casey went wide and I found myself leading the race, but unfortunately it didn’t last long. When I rejoined the race after the ride through I pushed hard but it’s not the same as when you are fighting for the victory. In the last five laps the rear tyre started to drop off and I was no longer able to be fast in the middle of the corner. Meanwhile, Simoncelli had recovered and was behind me, I did all I could to defend my position but I wasn't able to. I’m really disappointed as I’m sure today I could have fought for the win, we can see the final gap to Dani is similar to the time it took to do the ride through. I’m sorry for the team, we did a great job and I felt competitive. It’s also a shame for the Championship points, anyway I look forward to Phillip Island because once again I showed to be fast”.

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