Stoner steals Honda's thunder in Japan Casey Stoner rode his Italian Ducati bike to victory Sunday in the Japan GP MotoGP race at Motegi, but it was not easy. Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso, who started from pole took second place in a hard-fought Japanese Grand Prix today. The 24-year-old Italian led into the first corner after securing his first ever MotoGP pole position yesterday, but Casey Stoner was able to sneak up the inside into turn two. For the next sixteen laps Dovizioso shadowed the Australian as the pair pulled away at the front of the field. Matching Stoner lap-for-lap and riding totally flat out, Dovizioso never let the gap grow much beyond half a second, but he couldn’t quite get close enough to mount an attack.
In the last three laps of the 24-lap race, Dovizioso launched his last push for victory, but a near-highside lost him time and gave Stoner a crucial gap. After this, Dovizioso wisely brought his RC212V home for his fifth podium of the season and his first rostrum visit since the British Grand Prix in June. The result means Dovizioso climbs one position in the World Championship by taking fourth place from Valentino Rossi, who finished third after winning a thrilling battle with his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
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