After months of arm misery following last October's Motegi accident, Dani Pedrosa struck instant success in his first MotoGP race since corrective surgery to restore blood flow.
Pedrosa smashed his collarbone when the throttle suck open during practice for the 2010 Japanese round, and - unknown at the time - a plate inserted to help his recovery was instead pinching an artery, causing numbness and loss of strength in his left arm.
After struggling in the final races of last year, Pedrosa had been assured that he simply needed more recovery time. But when the problem returned in round one of this season, the Spaniard went for a second opinion, when the plate problem was finally spotted.
The postponement of the 2011 Japanese event gave last year's title runner-up a near four week break in which to have surgery and gain as much fitness as possible for round three in Portugal.
Pedrosa qualified third on the grid at Estoril, but knew from previous experience that the success of the surgery would only be known in the race.
As such he was anxiously waiting for the numbness to return as he shadowed race and world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo for lap after lap on Sunday.
But the only physical problems he felt were related to the surgery and, buoyed by the knowledge that he was finally fit again, Pedrosa drew level with Lorenzo on lap 25 of 28 and out-braked him into turn one.
Twice in the next three laps Pedrosa broke the lap record to give Yamaha's world champion - and winner at Estoril for the previous three years - no chance to counter attack. Pedrosa's victory margin was 3.051sec at the flag.
"I'm very happy for today's win, but more than the win I'm happy for my condition and it seems that my surgery was finally successful,” smiled Dani.