Pedrosa crossed the line to take the win at a dramatic Grand Prix of Japan, where the only two of the top seven riders did not either run off track or incur a ride through penalty. The GP began with pole setter Stoner launching into turn one ahead of the field, while team mate Dovizioso jumped the start from the front row, with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) and Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) both following suit.
Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi crashed out of the first lap, forcing Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) off track, dropping the American down the order. Meanwhile Stoner appeared set to take another victory, leading clear and free until running off the track on lap five. Shortly thereafter Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) went down, while Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) ran off track after lapping in fourth position.
Lorenzo made his way across the line in second, while Stoner rose to third. Simoncelli and Dovizioso took their ride through penalties and then engaged in a battle to the finish, with the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider holding off Dovizioso to take fourth.
Three Americans followed next, with Spies sixth in front of Hayden and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) avoided any drama to finish ninth as did Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) who finished tenth. Crutchlow was 11th despite a runoff in addition to his ride through penalty.
That left Kousuke Akiyoshi (LCR Honda) to take 12th, as his team mate Toni Elías crashed out after lapping in sixth position. Shinichi Ito (Honda Racing Team) was the final finisher of the race in 13th, while Damian Cudlin who rode in place of an injured Capirossi on the Pramac Racing team crashed near the end of the race, and Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) went down while running in fourth position.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) did not participate in the race after taking the decision not to ride. The Czech rider was still feeling the after-effects of a light head concussion sustained in a crash in the opening lap of the Aragón race.