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Motegi gets ready for possible title decider

Motegi gets ready for possible title decider

In a swift cross-continent turnaround after the thrilling race at Estoril, MotoGP heads to the Far-East for the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan this weekend. The race will have big implications for the 2007 MotoGP title race, with two possible scenarios that will decide when or whether Casey Stoner can be crowned with his first MotoGP World Championship.

In a swift cross-continent turnaround after the thrilling race at Estoril, MotoGP heads to the Far-East for the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan this weekend. The race will have big implications for the 2007 MotoGP title race, with two possible scenarios that will decide when or whether Casey Stoner can be crowned with his first MotoGP World Championship.

With a 76-point gap separating current standings leader Stoner and nearest rival Valentino Rossi, either the factory Ducati rider will leave Japan with the title in the bag or the chase will be prolonged until his home race at Australia. To finish the job this weekend Stoner simply has to finish ahead of the five-time MotoGP World Champion in what is sure to be a tough race for the 21 year-old.

Rossi is still very much capable of beating Stoner in a straight fight, having done so at the last round in Estoril. The Yamaha rider will not be conceding defeat on the track any time soon, and has set himself the target of ending the season with more than his current tally of four victories. He also has to fend off Dani Pedrosa to consolidate second place in the standings, currently leading the Spaniard by 23 points.

A second place finish for Pedrosa in Estoril gave him room to breathe in third overall, with a gap of over 30 points separating himself and the tightly packed group consisting of John Hopkins, Chris Vermeulen and Marco Melandri. Further down, Colin Edwards, last years race winner in Japan Loris Capirossi and reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden also occupy spots in a top ten completed by Alex Barros.

Two wild card riders will be participating in the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan, under the Suzuki and Kawasaki banners respectively. Paul Dennings boys in blue will be joined by test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi at the race, whilst Kawasaki will run one of their original riders from their MotoGP return, Akira Yanagawa, in his first premier class race since 2003.

Last years race was won by Loris Capirossi in a runaway victory from pole, ahead of his fellow Italians Valentino Rossi and Marco Melandri.

Before the on-track action gets underway in Japan, a special event featuring some of the biggest names in MotoGP will take place in Tokyo. A huge attendance is expected for the MotoGP Lands in Tokyo event, which takes place on Wednesday in Shinjuku Station Square. Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Shinya Nakano, Chris Vermeulen, Colin Edwards, Makoto Tamada, Carlos Checa and Randy de Puniet are all confirmed participants in an on-stage talkshow and autograph session accompanied by five 800cc machines.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

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