Lorenzo wins to keep title fight alive
27 October 2013 – Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo held off the attentions of Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa to claim victory in Sunday afternoon's Japanese Grand Prix, therefore ensuring that the title fight will go to the final round of the season at Valencia.
After two days of torrid weather, the race itself took place under clear skies. Pole-sitter Lorenzo bolted clear at the start and would ultimately never yield the position, bringing his victory total for the season up to seven, and one ahead of title leader Márquez.
At the mid-way point of the race, Márquez closed in enough to apply substantial pressure to Lorenzo, but he had to settle for the runner-up spot after two small mistakes. Pedrosa, who had won the past two races at Motegi, followed his fellow Spaniard's home in third, with his championship chances now officially over.
Álvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl claimed fourth and fifth positions respectively, while Valentino Rossi – who was a buffer between team-mate Lorenzo and the two Repsol Hondas in the early stages – wound up sixth after a costly trip through the gravel.
Tech 3 Yamaha riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith collected useful points, while the factory Ducatis of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso completed the top ten.
Heading to Valencia, which will stage the first title decided in seven years, Márquez holds a much narrower lead of 13 points over current World Champion Lorenzo.
The final round of the season takes place on the weekend of November 8-10