Pedrosa wins a wet Japanese GP

Pedrosa wins a wet Japanese GP

Dani Pedrosa was back to his best on Sunday, as the Spaniard won the Japanese Grand Prix - his first race win for 2015 and 50th career Grand Prix victory

The Repsol Honda rider was joined on the podium by Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in second and third position respectively, as the Yamaha team-mates duke it out for the 2015 World Championship.

By the time the chequered flag waved, Rossi's lead in the Championship was 18 points, but that gap was anything but certain through the course of the race.

After beginning the race on pole, it appeared as though Lorenzo would ride off into the distance - as the Spaniard pushed his bike to the limit in the early stages and opened up a large gap ahead of the field.

Lorenzo held a constant gap of three seconds ahead of Rossi in second place, who also managed to race away from the field and the result looked like it would be a comfortable Yamaha one-two.

However, with poor track conditions and tire degredation setting in - a window opened for Pedrosa, who began registering times almost one second a lap quicker than the Yamaha duo.

With eight laps remaining, Pedrosa's pace was too much for Rossi - as "The Doctor" conceded second place to the Honda of Pedrosa, which provisionally cut Rossi's Championship lead to only five points.

After a whirlwind couple of laps - that gap opened back up to 18 points, as Pedrosa proved too quick for Lorenzo's damaged tires and took the race lead for good.

With five laps remaining - a pivotal mistake from Lorenzo saw the Spaniard run wide, which allowed Rossi to pass his team-mate and move into second place, gaining valuable Championship points in the process.

Two-time World Champion Marc Marquez managed to finish the race in fourth place, followed by Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso in fifth.

Honda's Cal Crutchlow finished sixth, as fellow British rider Bradley Smith finished in seventh position on his Yamaha.

Japanese rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga had a race to remember at home, as he finished the race in eighth position.

Ducati's Hector Barbera and Honda's Scott Redding rounded out the Top 10.