Jorge Lorenzo almost trebled his MotoGP
title lead after victory in Sunday's San Marino MotoGP
was combined with a disastrous sequence of events for rival Dani Pedrosa.
In Pedrosa's absence, local star Valentino Rossi
provided Lorenzo's closest opposition on his way to an equal Ducati-best of second in his final home Italian appearance for the factory.
Alvaro Bautista took a first ever MotoGP
podium in third for the home Gresini Honda team, at a track recently re-named after their late rider Marco Simoncelli, following a photo finish with Italian Andrea Dovizioso.
The initial start was halted at the last moment due to a problem with Karel Abraham's Ducati - pole sitter Pedrosa then suffering technical issues on the grid just before the restart.
Pedrosa's Repsol Honda team worked frantically to free the front tyre warmer from the locked wheel - and Pedrosa was eventually able to join the sighting lap - but all was far from fine as he was seen gesturing and pressing numerous buttons on his RCV.
Forced to line-up in last place, Pedrosa made quick progress in the opening turns - only to be taken out by Hector Barbera, who slammed into Pedrosa's back wheel at the apex of the left-hand turn at the end of the first back straight.
Pramac Ducati rider Barbera was starting his first race since a training injury in July.
While Pedrosa suffered his first non-score of the year, Lorenzo led from start to finish for his sixth victory, ballooning his points lead from 13 to 38 points over Pedrosa.
Lorenzo suffered a DNF when he was taken out at turn one at Assen earlier this year.
Local star Rossi, making his final home appearance as a Ducati rider, began the grand prix from sixth - which he converted into second behind Lorenzo at turn one.
The seven time MotoGP
champion faced pressure for much of the race, initially from rookie Stefan Bradl and then, in the closing stages, from Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista.