Jorge Lorenzo will head for the MotoGP summer break with a huge 72 point title lead after victory in the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca on Sunday.
The Fiat Yamaha rider claimed his sixth win from nine races after nearest title rival Dani Pedrosa
crashed out of the lead on lap 12 of 32, just as Lorenzo was beginning to put the Repsol Honda rider under pressure.
Pedrosa had shot from fourth on the grid to first with a brave outside-line over the crest into the turn two hairpin, with Lorenzo in third behind Ducati's Casey Stoner
by the end of the first lap.
Stoner surrendered second to Lorenzo when he ran wide on lap six, just as Pedrosa looked in danger of breaking clear at the front.
Lorenzo then began to claw time back from his fellow Spaniard, and was 0.6sec behind when Pedrosa saw his hopes of victory end in a cloud of dust after a lowside fall.
The accident marked Pedrosa's first non-finish of the year and has at least delayed his hopes of scoring three wins in one season for the very first time in MotoGP. Pedrosa will have plenty more chances to do that, but the title damage may prove irreparable.
Thereafter, Lorenzo slowly edged away from Stoner - who backed off after several front-end scares - to win by 3.517sec.
The #99 celebrated by changing into a NASA-type spacesuit and doing a mock moonwalk before planting his Lorenzo Land flag at the top of the corkscrew.
The only hiccup for Lorenzo on Sunday happened when the Italian anthem was initially played on the podium instead of the Spanish anthem!
It wasn't entirely inappropriate, since there was one very famous Italian on the podium in the form of Valentino Rossi.
The Italian legend returned to the podium just seven weeks after breaking his leg at Mugello after catching and overtaking Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.
The battle went right to the final turn, when Dovi ran wide after a last-gasp attempt to reclaim third.