Mike Stevens | Apr 27, 2009

Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo has secured the second premier class win of his career, leading home Yamaha team mate Valentino Rossi at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Rossi made a stunning start to the race, establishing an early advantage over the opposition before Lorenzo clawed his way back, bouncing back from a shaky start to win by 1.304 seconds.

Australia’s Casey Stoner started on the front row of the grid but made an awful start and was swamped by his rivals, slipping down to seventh place by lap two.

However, Stoner was able to up the ante as the race progressed, gaining more confidence in his Ducati’s abilities before crossing the finish line fourth behind Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who snatched the final podium place.

Despite missing out on the top three, Stoner was content with the result, saying his team performed admirably across the weekend.

He said: “The race in general I am quite happy with, as I think I rode quite well. The team did the best job they could this weekend, with the short time that we had, and everybody else is in the same situation.

“We were running lap times which would have made me capable of racing at the front if we hadn’t lost so much time at the beginning of the race.

“On my warm-up lap we found we had a problem with my front brake which was causing a lot of chattering and this was the case for the first six or seven laps so I had no confidence on the brakes.”

Fellow Aussie Chris Vermeulen was considered an outside chance for race victory overnight, with the Suzuki rider renowned for his prowess in the rain.

But the expected stormy conditions cleared by race time, allowing the event to take place on a dry track as Vermeuelen faded following a strong opening to finish 10th.

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