Valentino Rossi has begun his first season on a four stroke with victory at Suzuka. The four strokes took the first four places, as Rossi was followed home by Suzuki’s Akira Ryo, Yamaha’s Carlos Checa and fellow Honda rider Shinichi Itoh.
Wet conditions caught many out, including McCoy, Biaggi, Roberts, and Jeremy McWilliams.
Only twelve riders finished the race, and five of those were lapped.
Japanese rider Osamu Miyazaki led the 250 race, with Daisaku Sakai and Randy De Puniet finishing the podium.
The 125 race was won by Arnaud Vincent, followed by Mirco Giansanti, and Manuel Poggiali.