Dani Pedrosa rode like a world champion at Brno on Sunday - snatching a last turn victory over MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo to close the points gap with six rounds to go.
Pedrosa has often been criticised for following rather than attacking, with many of his previous 17 wins effectively decided long before the chequered flag.
Not so on Sunday, with Pedrosa unable to break away from Lorenzo after seizing the lead at the halfway mark of the 22 laps.
The Yamaha rider lurked just behind Pedrosa for lap-after-lap, then finally made what he hoped would be a victory pass with a surprise inside dive through the stadium section with just a few corners to go.
But Pedrosa retaliated on the long uphill run to the final chicane, outbraking Lorenzo and then holding the lead as the #99 attempted to brave it out around the outside. An ecstatic Pedrosa crossed the finish line 0.178s ahead, for his third victory of the year.
It was the best finish to a MotoGP race this season, and widely regarded as the best victory of Pedrosa's premier-class career. It also cut Lorenzo's title lead to just 13-points with six rounds remaining.
“Today was one of my best races in MotoGP ever, to win with a big gap is always nice, but to have a battle like today with Jorge, it's sometimes more rewarding,” said Pedrosa.
“It was a difficult last lap because I knew that Jorge was very fast in the middle of the corner and I could hear the bike right on me and I knew that just the smallest gap would allow him to pass. In fact, in that left corner I opened the door just a little more than normal and 'boom' he was there, I could see his bike in my face!
“With just half a lap to go, I was a little more nervous than before but I knew I had some strong points coming to the end of the lap. I tried to get the best drive up the hill and then in the last corner I was beside him, when I released the brakes e were side by side in the corner and I was able to take my line and win the race.
“It was amazing and I'm really happy with this victory, for all my team and also for my father because it is his birthday! For the Championship we must keep up this momentum as Jorge is riding very strong and consistently in the top two.
“Testing [on Monday] will be important to set us up for the final part of the season, so let's see what we can do".
Third place Cal Crutchlow was over twelve seconds behind Pedrosa and Lorenzo.