MOTEGI: Italian Yamaha ace Valentino Rossi won his sixth world premier-class title on Sunday when he beat defending champion Casey Stoner in the Japanese Grand Prix.Rossi overtook the Australian Ducati rider on the 14th of 24 laps and never looked back, taking the title with his eighth MotoGP win of the season in 43min 09.599sec with Stoner 1.943 sec behind.Honda rider Dani Pedrosa of Spain finished third 2.923 sec further back. It was Rossi's fifth straight GP win and his first MotoGP title in three years, after missing out to American Honda rider Nicky Hayden in 2006 and Stoner last year.
Rossi put a lock on the title with an unbeatable 92 point lead over Stoner with three races left in the season. A win is worth 25 points.The 29-year-old, nicknamed "Doctor" for his meticulous planning and racing, won his first premier-class title, then the 500cc, riding for Honda in 2001.He successfully defended his crown four straight times after the category was changed to the four-stroke MotoGP in 2002. He moved to Yamaha in 2004.
Stoner jumped from the second spot on the front row to go first around the bend on the 4.8-kilometre (three-mile) stop-and-go Twin Ring Motegi track under overcast skies.But Pedrosa overtook him on the second lap, with Rossi trailing in their slipstream. Then Stoner, who has won four GPs so far this year but missed the podium in the last three races, grabbed back the lead with Rossi in second on the sixth lap.Rossi made the race his on lap 14, passing Stoner around the first corner and holding on to take the chequered flag and the title.
Italy's Valentino Rossi won the MotoGP world championship for Yamaha on Sunday.Born: February 16, 1979 in Urbino, ItalyWins the 125cc world championship in 1997Moves up to the 250cc category and seals world championship in 1999 with Aprilia.Takes the 500cc world title with Honda in 2001 before winning the 2002 and 2003 championships as the event becomes MotoGP.Switches to Yamaha and secures the 2004 and 2005 world titles to become one of the sport's all time greats.Suffers disappointing 2006 and 2007 seasons but pledges to stick with Yamaha and his decision is justified when he surges to the 2008 championship.Nicknamed "the Doctor" in Italy, he has become one of the country's most loved sportsmen despite a tax evasion probe in 2007 which resulted him in paying a 35 million euro bill.Known for his colourful helmets, Rossi has also shown an interest in Formula One and rally cars, media often speculating that one day he will swap two wheels for four.His first passion was go-karts but follows his father Graziano by taking up motocycling and races in his first grand prix with Aprilia in 1996 in the 125cc category.
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