Alvaro Bautista won the 250cc race of the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi despite making a poor start to the race.
Bautista dropped down to eighth by the end of lap one but by half-distance was in second place and close behind leader Hiroshi Aoyama. With six laps remaining in the 23-lap even Bautista took the lead and slowly pulled away to take the win.
Aoyama finished a clear second despite a moment in the opening laps of the race. He took the lead on lap nine when early leader Marco Simoncelli, who he was closing in on, had a big moment at the final esses as he clattered over the kerbs and ran wide, allowing Aoyama through before he was caught and passed by Bautista.
Almost immediately after his moment Simoncelli slowed, his front tyre deflating. He pitted and changed the tyre, but went down a lap and ended the race in 17th place, out of the points.
Mattea Pasini completed the podium in third place a couple of seconds ahead of Gabor Talmacsi, who was involved in a three-way dice for the lead with Simoncelli and Aoyama on the opening lap before he faded slowly down the order.
Alex Debon completed the top five finishers ahead of wildcard Shuhei Aoyama who finished sixth on his Honda, joining his brother Shuhei at the front of the field.
Hector Barbera, who won the season's opening race in Qatar, had a dreadful start from fifth to complete lap one in 20th position. He climbed back up the order through the race but was only able to make it to 11th position.
Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot looked set for a strong top-ten finish before crashing out in the closing laps and being taken away on a stretcher.
Other fallers included Hector Faubel, Mike di Meglio, Alex Pons, Roberto Locatelli and Qatar runner-up Jules Cluzel.
Pos Rider Bike Time
1. Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 44:06.488
2. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda + 5.889
3. Mattia Pasini Aprilia + 21.832
4. Gabor Talmacsi Aprilia + 25.906
5. Alex Debon Aprilia + 30.785
6. Shuhei Aoyama Honda + 33.788
7. Lukas Pesek Aprilia + 36.972
8. Thomas Luthi Aprilia + 41.018
9. Karel Abraham Aprilia + 41.649
10. Shoya Tomizawa Honda + 52.863
11. Hector Barbera Aprilia +1:00.888
12. Raffaele de Rosa Honda +1:06.347
13. Imre Toth Aprilia +1:53.149
14. Kazuki Watanabe Yamaha + 1 lap
15. Vladimir Leonov Aprilia + 1 lap
16. Bastien Chesaux Honda + 1 lap
17. Marco Simoncelli Gilera + 1 lap
18. Aitor Rodriguez Aprilia + 1 lap
Rider Bike Laps
Ratthapark Wilairot Honda 18
Alex Baldolini Aprilia 17
Hector Faubel Honda 6
Mike di Meglio Aprilia 5
Axel Pons Aprilia 3
Jules Cluzel Aprilia 2
Roberto Locatelli Gilera 2