The Ducati Team rider scored back-to-back victories with first place in the Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday. Pole man Andrea Dovizioso finished second whilst Valentino Rossi beat Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo to the final podium spot after an epic battle with his team-mate.
Casey Stoner followed up his first win of the season at Aragón with a second victory of 2010 in the Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday, with pole man Andrea Dovizioso second and Valentino Rossi third. It was another strong win from Ducati rider Stoner as he slowly pulled away from Dovizioso throughout the 24-lap race, but the real excitement was drawn from team-mates Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo’s intense battle for the final spot on the podium.
As he did last time out at Aragón Stoner got a fast start and took the lead on the opening lap, and as he settled into his rhythm and consistently posted fast laps Dovizioso – starting from pole for the first time in the premier class – stuck with him for the early stages. Lorenzo hinted at what was to come as he passed Rossi to assume third, and that was just the start of the duo’s enthralling contest.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) ran off at turn five together on only the second lap as they dropped down the order, whilst rookie Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) pitted their wits against one another in the push for fifth.
Stoner began to open up a slender lead over Dovizioso which grew to a second with seven laps remaining, while further down the order Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) was forced to retire when his bike stalled as he ran wide alongside team-mate Álvaro Bautista in the chase for seventh place.
With Stoner now assured of victory and Dovizioso a return to the podium after an eight-race stint without a top-three finish, Rossi and Lorenzo locked horns. Repeatedly pushing one another the pair touched bikes with two laps to go as they fought side by side in a rousing finale to the race.
Victory for Stoner came by a margin of 3.868s and Dovizioso’s fifth podium of the season – his first since Silverstone – was also confirmed. Rossi managed to hold his own in third place and score a seventh rostrum result of 2010, and in the process ensure that Lorenzo finished outside the top three for the second successive race.
Edwards posted a season’s best result of fifth, with Simoncelli sixth and Bautista seventh. Spies Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) completed the top ten.
In the absence of the injured Dani Pedrosa, Lorenzo’s lead at the top of the Championship was extended to 69 points. Stoner remains in third, with Dovizioso leapfrogging Rossi into fourth.