Dani Pedrosa has thrown a spanner into the battle for the 2015 MotoGP championship, after overhauling championship leaders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in wet conditions at Honda’s home round of the series to take the win.
It was Lorenzo who led for much of the race, clearing off from his pole position to take an almost three-second lead over Rossi. However, Pedrosa was the man on the move, charging through the field to overhaul first Andrea Dovizioso for third then closing in on the leading group.
And, with a drying track damaging the front tyres of the Yamahas, he was soon able to make up the gap to the duo in front.
And, importantly for the title fight, with Lorenzo suffering more than his teammate, Rossi was able to follow Pedrosa past Lorenzo, to extend his championship lead to 18 points with only 75 left to play for.
Marc Marquez made it past Dovizioso to take fourth, while sixth was decided on the last lap, after a long battle for both top Brit and top satellite bike between Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith, with Crutchlow just pipping his countryman.
Yamaha test rider and Suzuka 8 Hour winner Kats Nakasuga was eighth on his wildcard appearance, ahead of a strong ride for Hector Barbera and with Scott Redding just making it into the top ten.