Valentino Rossi built his MotoGP World Championship lead back into double figures with his second sub-0.1sec victory of the season over team-mate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo.
The first of those super-close wins was at round six in Catalunya, when a brilliant last-turn pass handed Rossi victory by 0.095sec over the home hero, but Sunday's 0.099sec German GP triumph was achieved by containing a charging Lorenzo for the final two laps.
Starting from pole, Rossi led the field into turn one and remained at the head of a four-man lead group, consisting of the top four riders in the world championship, until being overtaken by Ducati's Casey Stoner
on lap 7 of 30.
Rossi returned to the front on lap 17, but now had Lorenzo crawling all over his rear wheel and the 22-year-old moved ahead with five laps to go. Rossi, running the same front tyre but a softer rear tyre than Lorenzo, struck back by diving under his fellow Fiat Yamaha rider into turn one on the penultimate lap.
The reigning six-time MotoGP world champion took a tight line into that same corner at the start of the last lap, denying Lorenzo of a chance to pass, then perfectly balanced defence and speed to claim his 101st grand prix win, his fourth victory of the season and an all-time record-equalling 159th podium.
“I think this was a great race for everyone because there were all four leading riders of the championship, fighting very closely and all in strong form,” said Rossi. “We knew that they would all be tough to beat today so I am very pleased about this win, I rode very well and my team worked brilliantly all weekend to find the right setting.
“I had a very good start today, a great battle with Stoner early on and then after half race distance I was a little faster and really able to push at the maximum, which was great fun.
“The top riders' tyre choice was different so there was different behaviour in the bikes and some different lines in places. Now that tyres are all the same [brand] you have to fight more on the track.
“At the end it came down to another incredible battle with Lorenzo and I really had to be on top form, especially because he passed me when I wasn't expecting it. Luckily I was able to take him back and then I rode a perfect final lap with no mistakes.