New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Dovizioso leads Honda defence

Dovizioso leads Honda defence

Dovizioso leads Honda defence

Andrea Dovizioso defends Honda colours at their home circuit of Motegi in the 125cc race this weekend, as both the Japanese factory's honour and his own championship lead come under threat. Whilst the main danger comes from Aprilia and last year's winner Hector Barberá, both Derbi and KTM are in the hunt for glory in Japan after positive recent performances from their riders.

For Derbi, Jorge Lorenzo is out for revenge after crashing out at Motegi last year. Lorenzo was mounting a charge for victory, setting the fastest lap of the race while battling with the leading group of riders only to crash on lap 19. However the youngster has shown a newfound maturity in recent weeks and has finished on the podium at the last three races.

At KTM, Mika Kallio is finding form at the right time of the season, picking up second place in Portugal two weeks ago to stand on the podium for the first time since the Malaysian Grand Prix last year. Meanwhile, his team-mate Casey Stoner has an even bigger point to prove after dropping out of the title chase in dramatic fashion.

Stoner has failed to score points in the last four races due to a combination of injury and bad luck, and is desperate to beat Kallio to the honour of scoring KTM's first victory in the 125cc class before moving up to 250 next year.

Dovizioso finished third at Motegi last year, just three tenths of a second behind the victorious Barberá, but is coming under pressure from the Spaniard for the title this time around after failing to finish a race for the first time all season at Portugal. With Barberá taking his third win of the season in the same race, the Italian's lead at the top of the championship now stands at just 20 points.

However, Barberá is not the only Aprilia rider in with a shout. Roberto Locatelli lies just nine points further behind in third place and has a strong record at Motegi. The Italian took victory there in 2000, the year he won the 125cc title, after qualifying on pole and setting a new lap record during the race.

Tags:
125cc, 2004, CAMEL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Andrea Dovizioso

Other updates you may be interested in ›