Motegi MotoGP: Valentino Rossi takes win and 2008 championship

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Valentino Rossi has become the 2008 MotoGP champion after taking Yamaha’s first ever win at Motegi, Japan.

Valentino Rossi didn’t get a great start and was fifth at the end of the first lap, with 2007 champion Casey Stoner leading from the front ahead of Dani Pedrosa, Nicky Hayden and Jorge Lorenzo.

By lap three Rossi was up to third position after setting a new lap record. Stoner, Rossi and Pedrosa then seperated from the following riders.

On lap six the Italian managed to get passed Dani Pedrosa to move up to second behind Stoner.

Stoner and Rossi then pulled away from Pedrosa, leaving the Spaniard in the sights of fellow countryman Jorge Lorenzo.

After following Stoner for several laps Rossi made a block pass on lap 14 and then opened up a lead on Stoner, who had no reply to Rossi’s fast pace.

Behind the leading pair Jorge Lorenzo was slowly catching Dani Pedrosa and on the final lap made an attempt topass Dani Pedrosa, but the two touched and Lorenzo just managed to stay on to settle for fourth place.

Brit James Toseland finished 11th after being overtaken by John Hopkins towards the end of the race.

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team (B) 43min 9.599 secs
2. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 43min 11.542 secs
3. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team (B) 43min 14.465 secs
4. Jorge Lorenzo SPA Fiat Yamaha Team (M) 43min 15.764 secs
5. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team (M) 43min 34.192 secs
6. Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 43min 35.284 secs
7. Colin Edwards USA Tech 3 Yamaha (M) 43min 35.517 secs
8. Shinya Nakano JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 43min 35.602 secs
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP (M) 43min 35.818 secs
10. John Hopkins USA Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 43min 46.730 secs
11. James Toseland GBR Tech 3 Yamaha (M) 43min 47.173 secs
12. Randy de Puniet FRA LCR Honda MotoGP (M) 43min 47.619 secs
13. Marco Melandri ITA Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 43min 49.367 secs
14. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Alice Team (B) 43min 55.445 secs
15. Anthony West AUS Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 44min 5.347 secs
16. Toni Elias SPA Alice Team (B) 44min 8.919 secs
17. Alex de Angelis RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 44min 21.997 secs

Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 29min 15.247 secs
Kousuke Akiyoshi JPN Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) lap 1

Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer