Scott Redding held his nerve to secure a first Moto2 win during Sunday's rain-shortened French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
Redding worked his way forwards from eighth on lap one, seizing the lead from home favourite Johann Zarco on lap nine.
The 20-year-old then settled into a rhythm, just ahead of his pursuers, but the arrival of rain in the closing stages forced Redding to tread a fine line between speed and safety.
With lap times soaring - and the race having been declared 'dry' - it was finally stopped, with Redding still in front, on lap 24 of 26.
"It's an amazing feeling to have taken the win today, in what were very difficult conditions. It's a fitting reward for the team, who have all worked so hard for this win and, to them, I have to say a big thank you.”
The win was also the first for the Marc VDS team, which Redding has raced for since the inaugural Moto2 season in 2010.
“I owe a lot to [team owner] Marc van der Straten for his support, so it was great that we had the chance to stand together on the top step of the podium today.”
With Redding's Pons Kalex title rivals Esteve Rabat and Pol Espargaro both falling - at almost the exact same time - during the race, the Englishman now holds a sturdy 24-point advantage over Rabat. Espargaro is 35 points behind.
“The win puts me back on the top of the championship standings, but this time with a bit more of an advantage, so I'm happy with that,” said Redding. “Now we go to Mugello, where I'll definitely be looking for more of the same!"
Redding was joined on the podium by team-mate Mika Kallio
who made it a perfect day for Marc VDS with a second place finish, once the results were backdated to the end of lap 22.
"Congratulations to Scott, to Mika and to the whole team on a fantastic result here in Le Mans. It doesn't get any better than a one-two finish!” said van der Straten.
“To stand on the podium with both of our Moto2 riders was a real pleasure for me, especially as we were joined by my fellow countryman, Xavier Simeon, who finished third on Scott Redding's bike from last season."
Redding's only previous victory was in the 2008 125cc British round, which made him the youngest ever grand prix winner.