Spanish defending champion Jorge Lorenzo, riding a Yamaha, held off a strong Honda challenge to win the Italian MotoGP here on Sunday, his second victory of the season.
Fresh from lowering the track record in qualifying at the Mugello circuit on Saturday, Australian Casey Stoner started on pole and led for the opening 17 laps of the 23-lap race.
But with six laps to go, Lorenzo took the lead with a sublime inside pass on Stoner, pinching the inside lane through a steep, downhill chicane with pinpoint deftness.
"I'm so happy," Lorenzo told the BBC. "Casey was so quick but little by little, lap by lap I managed to catch him. I saw the opportunity (to take Stoner) on the downhill."
The victory lifts Lorenzo (133 points) to within 19 of leader Stoner (152) in the championship standings.
Stoner was then ambushed by Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap, and had to be happy with third place on the podium.
"I did everything I could," said Stoner, who blamed the hotter conditions for playing havoc with his tyre grip that saw him noticeably slow in the latter stages.
"The tyre pressure went up too high and I lost all grip in the rear and you can't do anything without it.
"I tried to keep a consistent pace but it was just too slow."
Dovizioso was left bouncing by his second place.
"To be the first Italian home in Mugello is something special," he said. "Last year I was third. It's something not many people in the world can feel."
'The Doctor', who won here nine times during his career, came in sixth place 26.45sec off Lorenzo's flying pace.
Marco Simoncelli, racing under a cloud after being at fault for a first-lap collision with Lorenzo at Assen and a crash with Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans, avoided any mishaps this time around to claim fifth.
The Spaniard started on pole but he was pushed all the way by both Bradl and Smith, who briefly held the lead.
It was a third win of the season for Marquez who closed the gap on Bradl at the top of the overall standings.
And Marquez's compatriot Nicolas Terol, on an Aprilia, wrapped up the 125cc title ahead of Frenchman Johann Zarco on a Derbi and Maverick Vinales of Spain on an Aprilia.
Zarco took the lead halfway through the race but was pipped at the post by the fast-finishing Zarco who tracked him all the way.
Source: AFP Global Edition