Dani Pedrosa battled from behind to beat championship leader Jorge Lorenzo at the Japanese Grand Prix, stepping up his bid to overtake his fellow Spaniard for his first MotoGP title.
And in further good news for Honda, teammate Casey Stoner retained third place in the standings after finishing fifth.
Stoner missed three races through injury and has no chance of winning the championship but he remains five points ahead of Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso who finished one place ahead of him in Japan.
Pedrosa passed pole-sitter and Yamaha ace Lorenzo on the 12th of 24 laps and won by more than four seconds at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.
With his four wins in the past five races, Pedrosa has closed the gap to Lorenzo to 28 points with three races remaining in the season.
The Grand Prix tour will stop in Malaysia and Australia in the next two weeks with the finale to thrill Spanish fans at Valencia on November 11th.