Rookie Marc Marquez held off a late charge from Cal Crutchlow to win the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring - and retake the world championship lead.
On a day when title leaders Dani Pedrosa
and Jorge Lorenzo
were both absent due to collarbone injuries, pole sitter Marquez muscled forwards from fourth on lap one, taking the lead from home hero Stefan Bradl along the main straight on lap 6 of 30.
Marquez then edged clear, while Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi
and Crutchlow worked their way around the German.
By the halfway stage Marquez was leading Rossi by two seconds, but the Italian had his hands full with Tech 3 star Crutchlow, who eventually overtook the seven time champion at the final turn.
Crutchlow, who began the race from a sore second on the grid after two heavy falls in practice, then faced a 2.8s gap to Repsol Honda star Marquez. The Englishman initially chewed into that advantage, but Marquez responded and held his lead at the two-second mark - until another big push from Crutchlow in the closing stages.
The Englishman soon closed to within 1.6s of the reigning Moto2 champion and a first ever MotoGP win for himself and the Tech 3 team. But Marquez soaked up the pressure and claimed his second victory of the season - after Texas - by 1.559s.
All of the manufacturer (factory/satellite) riders chose the same hard front/soft rear tyre combination.
The result propels Marquez into the championship lead by two points from team-mate Pedrosa, with Yamaha's Lorenzo eleven points from the top after 8 of 18 rounds.
Crutchlow's fourth podium of the season consolidates his fourth place in the standings, which the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider now holds by an increased six points over Rossi, winner of the previous Assen round.
Rossi faded back to a distant 9.6s from victory.
After his early race heroics Bradl, who had outbraked Rossi for the lead on the opening lap, spent much of the race in fourth place, his LCR Honda crossing the line 4.3s from Rossi.
Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista put a run of poor events behind him with fifth place, while Crutchlow's rookie team-mate Bradley Smith matched his best result with a solid sixth.