Dani Pedrosa battled from behind to beat championship leader Jorge Lorenzo at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, stepping up his bid to overtake the fellow Spaniard for his first MotoGP title.
The Honda rider passed pole-sitter and Yamaha ace Lorenzo on the 12th lap of the 24-lap race and never looked back to win in 42 min 31.569 sec at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit under cloudy skies.
Lorenzo followed home 4.275 second with Alvaro Bautista third on a Honda 2.477 seconds farther back.
With his four wins in the last five races, Pedrosa closed his gap with Lorenzo to 28 from 33 with three races remaining in the season.
Lorenzo, who has clinched his sixth pole position of the season, went first around the bend with Pedrosa trailing in his slipstream.
Pedrosa overtook Lorenzo on the 12th lap after narrowing the gap with him which had stretched to nearly four tenths of a second at one point.
He stretched his lead beyond two seconds with three laps to go.