Jorge Lorenzo delivered a rain-riding masterclass at Le Mans on Sunday, regaining the MotoGP World Championship lead with a perfectly judged performance in the slippery conditions.
The Yamaha star, who hadn't won a wet race until Jerez 2011, bolted from fourth to first on the opening lap, allowing him to focus on taming the track rather than battling other riders.
While title rival Casey Stoner waited for his tyres to generate heat, Lorenzo built a healthy lead - but conceded ground to the Repsol Honda rider during the middle stages.
Stoner cut Lorenzo's advantage to less than three-seconds, but the Spaniard held his nerve and Stoner dropped away into the clutches of Valentino Rossi in the closing stages.
Lorenzo crossed the line almost ten-seconds clear of runner-up Rossi.
“It was really difficult to hold concentration today, in the dry it's complicated but in the wet it's even more,” said the 2010 world champion. “The race feels much longer and you have to remember where the corners are slippery. If you forget one you can crash very easily.
“My plan was to stay in first position from the first lap, because I prefer to stay alone in these conditions to keep more concentration than when you are battling with other riders.
“The whole race was a challenge and especially when Casey was catching me. It would have been easy to push a bit more and make a mistake at that moment, but I waited for a few more laps to see what happened then opened the gap again to win this fantastic race.
“A big thank you to my team who worked very hard in difficult conditions to make a set up that worked for me.”
Lorenzo's second win from four 2012 starts put him back in command of the championship by eight points over reigning double champion Stoner, who will retire at the end of the year.