Steve Parrish's MotoGP column

By Steve ParrishBBC motorcycling commentator

What an eventful race in Japan, it was like a demolition derby and there was never a dull moment.

We had five crashes, numerous trips off the track and three ride-through penalties. It was certainly an expensive day for the teams if you added up all the crash damage.

There will be an awful lot of people annoyed with themselves this evening and wondering what could have been.

Casey Stoner would have walked to a win if he hadn't have gone off - but it could have been a lot worse.

He finished third after a major excursion across the gravel and he will still win the title.

It wasn't a mistake from Stoner at all, it was just unfortunate and he did very well not to have a big accident.

His bike hit a bump and tied itself in knots on the fastest part of the circuit, he would have been approaching 200mph at that point and he said his hands almost came off the handlebars so his heart must have been in his mouth.

When a bike shakes as hard as that you get what is known as brake pad knockback. The pads move in the caliper and what it means is that instead of being able to stop the bike with one finger, all of a sudden you need a mighty squeeze to get the brakes on.

He's very cross about it because he wanted to win the world championship at his home race at Phillip Island in two weeks but that looks unlikely now.

Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli will also be thinking they could have been fighting for the win if they hadn't jumped the start along with Cal Crutchlow and it was very strange.

I wonder if there was an anomaly with the lights because I can't remember the last time we saw anyone jump the start - never mind three in one race.

After months of speculation it was just a pleasure to be back in Japan.

Stoner and Lorenzo had both declared in July that they would not race in Japan because of safety concerns following March's earthquake but it was all resolved in the end and rightly so.

Everyone I spoke to was pleased to be there and were glad they did go. It was all being checked out the whole time and there was actually less radiation at the track than there was in Florence in Italy.

Now we move on and look forward to the next race in Australia.