Jorge Lorenzo emerged as the sole survivor of a three-way victory battle in Sunday's Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Slotting into an early third behind pole sitter Dani Pedrosa and championship leader Valentino Rossi, after living up to his nickname with an outside pass on Colin Edwards through turn one, the trio quickly broke away from the rest of the field.
But Pedrosa lost the front of his Repsol Honda into the final turn on lap 4 of 28, setting up another Yamaha vs. Yamaha battle between Lorenzo and team-mate Rossi.
Having fallen from the lead at the last two rounds, and been beaten by Rossi in two other victory showdowns this season, Lorenzo seemed the most likely to falter.
But the young Spaniard confidently overtook Rossi through turn one on lap 9 and was pushing ahead when Rossi's M1 collapsed onto its side just one lap later.
That left Lorenzo unchallenged for his third victory of the season and first since round four at Le Mans, having lost points to Rossi at the six rounds prior to Indy.
“If you want to win, you have to always be at the limit, and in the last two races I was at the limit to try to win and I crashed, so I was a bit disappointed,” confessed Lorenzo.
“But today the situation changed completely and my closest rivals have crashed instead. Of course I'm sorry for them but these are the highs and lows of racing and it's an amazing result for me.
“At the beginning I struggled to keep with Pedrosa and Vale. But after five laps I felt comfortable. I felt that I had to pass Vale to try to open it up, because Vale was not so fast in that moment. Last time in Brno he was much faster.
“Today I felt great on the bike. I think if Valentino hadn't crashed, I could have ridden maybe in the 1min 39.9 or 39.8,” added Lorenzo, who set the fastest lap of the race with a 1min 40.152sec.