Rookie Marc Marquez completed a record-breaking weekend with victory in only his second MotoGP start, at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday.
The youngest rider to qualify on pole position, the 20-year-old promptly broke another of Freddie Spencer's 1982 records by becoming the youngest ever 500cc/MotoGP race winner.
The dominant force ever since MotoGP's first COTA laps in March, Marquez lost the lead to Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa
at turn one. The reigning Moto2 champion then shadowed his fellow Spaniard and, as one of the few to run the harder rear tyre, had time on his side.
The victory pass - a neat inside move through the Turn 7 twists - occurred on lap 13 of 21. Pedrosa initially kept in contact, but a small mistake with three laps to go effectively decided the race in Marquez's favour.
"Already third place in Qatar was a dream, and now victory in my second race is even better!” grinned Marquez, signed in place of the retired Casey Stoner. “I am very grateful to the team for their efforts over the pre-season; we have worked very hard and, without this, the victory would not have been possible.
“The race was very intense and physical. I followed Dani for many laps and then decided to launch an attack and try to open a gap with ten laps to go. I could not pull the gap I wanted as some problems with the front emerged that we hadn't experienced throughout the weekend.
“Despite all this, we were able to take the victory.
“The 25 points are important, but what is more important is to have achieved a win in my second race in MotoGP. We realise that more difficult circuits lie ahead for us, but we will try to give 100% at all of them.”
As well as a debut victory, Marquez now leads the world championship, alongside Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, third on Sunday. “Our battle is not the one for the championship, but rather taking it race-by-race and enjoying every moment,” Marquez insisted.
Marquez is MotoGP's first new winner since Ben Spies at Assen in 2011.
Max Biaggi and Jarno Saarinen won their first 500cc/MotoGP races, but victory for Marquez in his second appearance is better than both current stars Lorenzo and Pedrosa achieved. Lorenzo won on his third MotoGP appearance, in 2008, and Pedrosa his fourth, in 2006.
Round three will be the first of the home events for the Spanish riders, at Jerez.