Cal Crutchlow's bike had issues on the grid and was walked to the pits and he would start from the last place, gifting Valentino Rossi one place at the back of the grid.
There were many points combinations that would guarantee Jorge Lorenzo his fifth world title, but one thing that was certain was that a win would give it to him and it looked like this was his plan when he led into the first corner from pole position with the Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa between him and the Ducatis of Andrea Ianonne and Andrea Dovizioso. Valentino Rossi made up five places on the first lap.
As Lorenzo, Marquez and Pedrosa ran away at the front, the Hondas under orders from Japan to finish first and second, Rossi forced his way past Yonny Hernandez, then Alvaro Bautista on his way to catch Michele Pirro on the next lap, getting to tenth place then ninth as Andrea Ianonne crashed out of fourth place.
Rossi caught Bradley Smith and took five laps to eventually pass him, Smith fighting his own battle with Danilo Petrucci and Pol Espagaro. Eight laps in, Rossi was in seventh place, him and Smith dispatching Petrucci, while his Yamaha teammate Lorenzo and the Hondas of Marquez and Pedrosa were almost seven seconds clear of Dovizioso's Ducati.
On the tenth lap, a third of the way through, Rossi made a hard pass on Pol Espagaro and passed his brother Aleix's Suzuki two laps later and the next lap, Rossi passed Dovizioso. Rossi was now in fourth place, ten seconds behind Pedrosa, Pedrosa himself dropping a couple of seconds back of Marquez.
Everyone seemed settled in their positions, with Marquez occasionally closing to the wheel of Lorenzo but not making any passing attempts. Lorenzo just rode as if there were nobody behind him, recording lap after lap of consistent 1'31s.
Then, with six laps left, Dani Pedrosa found some pace, closing from over two seconds back at a pace of half a second a lap, catching the leading pair with only two laps from the end. If the Hondas could pass Lorenzo, Rossi would be world champion.
Pedrosa, having much more pace than both riders in front of him, passed Marquez and set his sights on Lorenzo, only to have Marquez to take him back and give Lorenzo enough room to keep on lapping at his clean rate.
On the last lap, nobody was close enough to Jorge Lorenzo to pass and, after leading for thirty laps, he took a lights to flag victory to claim his fifth world title and seventh race win of the year.
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa completed the podium and Rossi in fourth had to console himself with another runner-up title place.
|19||76||Loris BAZ||Yamaha Forward||+1'04.339|
|20||24||Toni ELIAS||Yamaha Forward||+1'04.413|
|63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Ducati||6 Laps|
|50||Eugene LAVERTY||Honda||7 Laps|
|23||Broc PARKES||ART||9 Laps|
|29||Andrea IANNONE||Ducati||28 Laps|