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Pedrosa cuts MotoGP title gap again after superb victory in Japan

updated 7:57 AM EDT, Sun October 14, 2012
Dani Pedrosa clenches his fist after taking the checkered flag in the Japan MotoGP at Motegi.
Dani Pedrosa clenches his fist after taking the checkered flag in the Japan MotoGP at Motegi.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dani Pedrosa wins Japanese MotoGP at Motegi
  • Cuts title gap on leader Jorge Lorenzo to 28 points
  • Casey Stoner finishes fifth on return after Indianapolis crash
  • Three rounds remaining of 2012 season

(CNN) -- Dani Pedrosa kept his MotoGP title hopes alive by outpacing championship leader Jorge Lorenzo to win the Japanese round at Motegi Sunday.

Pedrosa has closed to within 28 points with three rounds remaining after claiming four of the last five races.

Honda's Pedrosa went past his Yamaha rival just past the halfway mark of the 24-lap race to win by over four seconds.

Alvaro Bautista completed a Spanish sweep of the podium in third place.

I'm a little disappointed to be honest. As the race progressed my body started to suffer and ache in ways I didn't expect
Casety Stoner

Pedrosa's only regret is that Lorenzo has managed to limit the impact of his recent dominant run.

"We did what we needed to do and it's just a pity that there is no one else who can stay with us because every race I win, he's been second," he told the official MotoGP website.

Italy's Andrea Dovizioso finished fourth with reigning world champion Casey Stoner of Australia in fifth on his return to the circuit after an ankle injury which has sidelined him in the last three races.

Honda's Stoner, who will retire at the end of the season, was left frustrated by his effort.

"I'm a little disappointed to be honest. At the start of the race I felt had the pace to stay with Dani and Jorge and the bike was feeling pretty good. Then as the race progressed my body started to suffer and ache in ways I didn't expect," he said.

Stoner cannot retain his title and is third in the standings but can be a factor to help his teammate in the concluding rounds.

Valentino Rossi, who will rejoin Yamaha next season, finished seventh on his Ducati.

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