Toni Elias overcame his hand and ankle injuries, and a crash, to emerge victorious in his home Spanish Moto2 grand prix at Jerez on Sunday.
The Spaniard was one of numerous riders to fall in the initial race start, when Simone Corsi put a tight pass on Shoya Tomizawa for the lead at the end of the back straight.
Tomizawa, winner of the first ever Moto2 race at Qatar and on pole at Jerez, went down - with fluid from his bouncing bike then causing the following riders to fall like dominoes.
A 17 lap restart with original grid positions followed, which began with Elias leading the field through the first turns.
But this was to be no start-to-finish cakewalk for the former 125, 250 and MotoGP race winner.
Instead, the new 600cc four-strokes put on a breathtaking display of racing excitement with the likes of Elias, Tomizawa, Kenny Noyes and Thomas Luthi regularly taking turns to lead.
Grand prix rookie Noyes was one of the outstanding stars of the race, the Jack&Jones Promoharris rider rocketing from third to first on the brakes at the end of the back straight to lead for the first time on lap six.
The American held his own to remain up front as the midway point came and went, before Luthi, Tomizawa and Elias worked their way past in the closing stages.
The last lap began with the top six riders all within one second, then saw Gresini/Moriwaki rider Elias take the lead from Tomizawa's Suter at turn two.
A sideways moment at the end of the back straight was the nearest Elias came to losing the lead and he crossed the line - to claim his first victory since 2006 in the MotoGP class - by just 0.190sec from Tomizawa, with Interwetten Moriwaki rider Luthi just 0.261sec from Elias.
Tech 3 rider Yuki Takahashi
was a constant factor in the lead group on his way to fourth, just half a second from victory, while Corsi worked his way up to fifth ahead of Sergio Gadea and Noyes.
The final members of what was officially a nine-rider lead group at the finish were Julian Simon and Gabor Talmacsi, also within a few seconds of victory.Race results - Jerez:
1. Elias (Moriwaki) 17 laps
2. Tomizawa (Suter) +0.190s
3. Luthi (Moriwaki) +0.261s
4. Takahashi (Tech 3) +0.558s
5. Corsi (MotoBI) +1.449s
6. Gadea (Pons Kalex) +1.496s
7. Noyes (Promoharris) +2.215s
8. Simon (RSV) +2.576s
9. Talmacsi (Speed Up) +3.825s
10. Hernandez (BQR) +6.691s
16. Redding (Suter) +12.678s