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Spain's Lorenzo wins Japan GP

SPAIN'S Jorge Lorenzo overtook reigning world champion and pole sitter Valentino Rossi of Italy today to win the MotoGP Grand Prix of Japan.

Lorenzo, who started from the front row, passed fellow Yamaha rider Rossi on the ninth of 24 laps on the 4.8-kilometer (3 mile) Motegi circuit and held on to win his first race of the season with a time of 43 minutes, 47.238 seconds.

Rossi, who won the 2008 Japanese GP, finished second, 1.304 seconds back.

Spain's Dani Pedrosa was third, 3.763 seconds off the pace on a Honda while Ducati rider Casey Stoner of Australia, winner of the season-opening Qatar GP last week, was fourth.

Yesterday's qualifying was canceled due to rain and the starting grid was determined by Friday's free practice session. The track was dry for today's race.

Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi crashed out of the race in a collision with American Nicky Hayden on the second lap.

In the 250cc race, Spain's Alvaro Bautista passed Japan's Hiroshi Aoyama with six laps to go to win his first race of the year.

Bautista finished the 23-lap race with a 5.889-second lead over Aoyama, who won the 250cc race at Motogi in 2005 and 2006. Mattia Pasini of Italy finished third with a time of 42:28.320.

Pole sitter and reigning 250cc world champion Marco Simoncelli punctured a tire early in the race and finished 17th.

Italy's Andrea Iannone, starting from pole position, won the 125cc race after crossing the finish line with a 1.346-second lead over fellow Aprilia rider Julian Simon of Spain. It was Iannone's second win of the season.

Spain's Pol Espargaro was third on Derbi.


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