Motegi crowds had something to cheer about on Sunday when Makoto Tamada won the Japanese Grand Prix and compatriot Shinya Nakano claimed his first podium spot in front of their home crowd.

Motegi crowds had something to cheer about on Sunday when Makoto Tamada won the Japanese Grand Prix and compatriot Shinya Nakano claimed his first podium spot in front of their home crowd.

In a drama-filled race, Rio race winner Tamada established himself as a great emerging rider with his second win of the season. Tamada rode his way to victory from pole position ahead of Italian favourite, Valentino Rossi, and Kawasaki rider Nakano.

Third place finisher Nakano benefited most from a six-rider crash on the first bend when Loris Capirossi, John Hopkins, Kenny Roberts, Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden and Max Biaggi all crashed out of the race.

Roberts suffered a dislocated elbow, Capirossi a broken toe and Hopkins broke two ribs in the incident. Significantly, Max Biaggi's second successive crash has spoiled his chances at a championship title this year. Another championship hopeful, Sete Gibernau, finished in sixth place, urging Rossi closer to securing Yamaha's first MotoGP title in 12 years.

Amid the chaos, Rossi and Tamada emerged ahead of the pack. Rossi's sliding tyres slowed him down towards the middle of the race, and Tamada passed him to race away to an eventual six seconds victory.

"A great day for all of us," said Tamada after his triumph. "Once I passed Valentino I was able to pull away because the Bridgestone tyres were so good throughout the race."

Ahead of Sunday's race, the Japanese rider had promised Rossi a tough race, but with the championship in mind, Rossi was pleased with this result. Tamada displayed an almost faultless set-up for the Motegi circuit and Rossi admitted there was nothing he could do to prevent Tamada's win.

"I don't like finishing second but with Sete Gibernau only finishing sixth and Max Biaggi out on the first lap, it was a good day for the championship," explained Valentino. "I tried to stay with Makoto but the bike was sliding so I had to slow to secure the 20 points.

Alex Barros recovered from a bad start to finish fourth, ahead of Marco Melandri and Gibernau, who was plagued throughout the weekend by tyre problems.

Carlos Checa, Neil Hodgson, Ruben Xaus and Alex Hoffman completed the top ten.

Original article from Car