Toni Elias clung onto his lead in the Moto2 standings despite finishing off the podium for the latest round of the championship at Mugello.
The Spaniard, winner in two of the opening four races this season, was embroiled in a tight exchange for second position but would be shuffled down to fifth position on the final lap as the chasing pack of five crossed the line.
Nonetheless, with Elias' closest title rival Shoya Tomizawa finishing behind him in sixth place, the former MotoGP race winner has eked his advantage out to 19 points over the Japanese rider.
“I saw how fast [Andrea] Iannone was this morning and told the team the race was out of our reach today and that proved to be the case,” the Gresini Moriwaki rider said. “I was hoping for second place but this is a good result for me.
“I had a plan for the last lap but to get myself into the right position I would have needed to go too wide at Correntaio and risk a crash, so I just had to settle for what I had and I'm happy with it.
“Let's hope this proves to be our worst result of the season because we're consistent at the moment and a weekend like Mugello, where I've picked up a point more than my closest rival in the championship, is very important."