Sunday's Japanese MotoGP at Motegi may not have seen a close victory battle, but incidents, accidents and penalties meant positions were rarely constant.
And while Dani Pedrosa rode a faultless race to claim his third win of the season, at Honda's home track, there were also plenty of other impressive rides further down the order.
World championship leader Casey Stoner fought his way back from seventh to third, losing just four points to title rival Jorge Lorenzo, after running off track. Meanwhile Lorenzo again delivered more performance - and less mistakes - to be the only Yamaha rider in the top five.
The person who gained the most places on Sunday was Lorenzo's sick team-mate Ben Spies, who climbed from 17th and last - after being bumped off track in Valentino Rossi's lap one accident - to sixth place at the chequered flag.
Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli also overcame adversity, in their case a ride-through penalty for jumping the start, which left them tenth and eleventh respectively. The pair were able to reach fourth and fifth places by the finish, with Simoncelli just getting the better of fellow factory RC212V rider Dovizioso after a tense battle.
Spaniards Alvaro Bautista and Toni Elias didn't reach the finish, but both had put in their best display of the year before crashing out.
Suzuki rider Bautista held third place leading up to the halfway stage and, even after Stoner re-passed him, was on target for a MotoGP-best of fourth until he fell while trying to keep a gap to Dovizioso and Simoncelli.
After a demoralising season, in which he has struggled to generate grip from his LCR Honda, Moto2 world champion Toni Elias looked set to be rewarded for his efforts as he held sixth place heading into the closing stages - only to crash.
In the Moto2 class, Andrea Iannone provided a reminder of his talents with a third win of the year, while runner-up rookie Marc Marquez completed an extraordinary rise to steal the title lead for the first time this year.
Johann Zarco finally claimed his first grand prix victory in the 125cc class, showing he had learnt from his earlier errors by riding a disciplined race. Could it be the first of many, and is it too late for him to bridge the 31 point gap to title leader Nico Terol?
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