Motorcycling: Stoner races to victory in Japan

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The Independent Online

Australian Casey Stoner stormed to his second successive victory for Ducati in yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, while MotoGP world champion-elect Jorge Lorenzo finished fourth.

The fast-starting Stoner continued his recent hot form but the real drama unfolded behind him as Lorenzo locked horns with Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi. The Ducati rider passed Honda's pole-sitter Andrea Dovizioso almost as soon as they had exited turn one and never looked back, finishing almost four seconds clear of the Italian.

"This weekend we were going in the wrong direction," Stoner said after completing back-to-back wins. "It was pretty much a lucky dip for the race as to how well the bike was going to work.

"To win here was completely unexpected going into the race. We were the underdogs coming to this track but it worked out. It was awesome."

Behind the front two, a furious battle raged between Yamaha's Lorenzo and Rossi, the pair clashing repeatedly and their bikes scraping against each other with two laps left.