After losing points to Casey Stoner at the previous four rounds, reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo revived his 2011 title challenge with one of the best victories of his career at Mugello on Sunday.
Arriving at round eight with only one wet win so far this season, the Factory Yamaha star took on and beat both Stoner and Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso for victory in Italy.
Third behind home hero Dovizioso just before the halfway stage, with Stoner two-seconds clear, Lorenzo admitted victory seemed unlikely.
But he kept pushing and, while the RCV riders lost pace as the race went on, Lorenzo got quicker and quicker.
Lorenzo re-passed Dovizioso on lap 12 (of 23) then Stoner on lap 18, having set a new lap record on the previous lap.
An ecstatic Lorenzo went on to take his first dry win of the season by one-second from Dovizioso, with Stoner dropping to third.
“This has been one of the sweetest victories. The victory in Jerez was not 'real' because it was raining. It's been a tough race because of the hot conditions without water in the camel back. I pushed and tried with all of my heart!" beamed Lorenzo.
“I knew Casey was so strong in the first few laps, but I didn't give up and kept pushing and pushing. It was difficult to pass Andrea so I had to take some risks, and when I made a small mistake and was behind Andrea it was hard to believe I could win.
"I tried to overtake Andrea in the downhill at the chicane and then I did the same with Casey because I thought it was the perfect corner for it.
"I could improve my lap time from the middle of the race to the end and this I like, as this is my style. It's a really important win, and from now everything is possible.
"I have won a lot of races very spectacularly in my career, but this is one of the best. It reminded me a bit the 125cc times, with many overtakings.
"I did a good start again and now I just want to watch the race again on TV. Congratulations to all of my team, they never gave up. I knew it would have been difficult today, but the 'martillo' [hammer] is back!”
“A great race, we feel really happy for everybody," added team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. "He deserved it and fought for it right to the last lap. He did the pace that only Jorge could do, especially at the end. Now we are back in shape and feeling better than we ever did so let's see what happens in the next 11 races.”
Lorenzo is now 19 points behind four-times 2011 race winner Stoner heading into the German Grand Prix in two weeks' time.
Team-mate Ben Spies, winner at the previous Assen round, finished fourth.