Capirossi wins Japan MotoGP

Loris Capirossi won his second straight MotoGP race at Motegi on Sunday at the Grand prix of Japan.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Motegi, Japan:

Loris Capirossi won his second straight MotoGP race at Motegi and Valentino Rossi picked up some valuable points on Sunday at the Grand prix of Japan. Capirossi, who started from pole position, led from start to finish on a Ducati to capture his third MotoGP win of the season and second title in as many years at the 4.8-kilometer Motegi circuit. But it was reigning world champion Rossi who made the biggest gains on Sunday. Rossi overtook compatriot Marco Melandri on the 14th lap to finish second and pull within 12 points of American Nicky Hayden in the overall MotoGP standings with two races left. Capirossi finished the 24-lap race with a time of 43 minutes, 13.585 seconds, 5.088 seconds ahead of Rossi. Melandri, who won last week's Australian Grand Prix, had a time of 43:21.963 to complete an Italian sweep of the podium. "It was an amazing race today," said Capirossi. "I tried to get a good start. Marco stayed close and then Valentino was coming so I had to push hard till the end. It's the second time to win here and it's a great feeling." It could have been worse for Hayden. Japan's Shinya Nakano crashed on the final lap, allowing Hayden to finish fifth instead of sixth. Hayden leads the standings with 239 points but Rossi is gaining and now has 224. Earlier, local favorite Hiroshi Aoyama won the 250cc race, crossing the finish line ahead of Alex De Angelis of San Marino. Aoyama, riding a KTM, clocked a time of 43 minutes, 36.310 seconds to finish 1.341 seconds ahead of De Angelis on an Aprilia. Jorge Lorenzo of Spain finished third on an Aprilia with a time of 43:40.659. With two races left, Lorenzo leads the overall championship standings with 265 points. Andrea Dovizioso, who was fourth in Sunday's race is second with 238 points. In the 125cc race, Finland's Mika Kallio edged world champion Alvaro Bautista of Spain for his third title of the season. Kallio, riding a KTM, completed 21 laps in 41 minutes, 40.970 seconds, 0.185 seconds ahead of Bautista on an Aprilia. Spain's Julian Simon, also riding a KTM, was third with a time of 41:48.739. Bautista clinched the 2006 world 125cc championship with a win at the Australian Grand Prix a week ago. (AP)