For the first time since joining MotoGP in 2006, Dani Pedrosa has won more than two races in a single season after taking his third win of the year at Indianapolis on Sunday.
The Repsol Honda rider worked his way up from fourth on lap one and took the lead by accelerating past home hero - and pole sitter - Ben Spies on the main straight on lap 7 of 28, then rode to a comfortable 3.575sec victory.
After being overtaken, star rookie Spies held his own in second place for the rest of the race, marking his best ever grand prix finish and second podium of the year, after a third at Silverstone.
The final podium position went to MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo, who suffered his worst finish of the season, but at least kept his perfect 2010 podium record intact.
Lorenzo crossed the line 3.237sec from 2011 team-mate Spies and 5.821sec in front of present Fiat Yamaha colleague Valentino Rossi.
Lorenzo will take a reduced 68-point lead over nearest title rival Pedrosa into next weekend's Misano round.
World champion Valentino Rossi, who had fallen three times this weekend and qualified just seventh, rebuilt his confidence in the race and got stronger as the race went on – rising from sixth at the end of lap one to take fourth place, from Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, on lap 21.
Nicky Hayden, who claimed his first Ducati front row with third in qualifying, saw his hopes of a strong result damaged when a knee slider came loose early in the race.
Third at the end of lap one, Hayden dropped back to seventh by lap 6, but moved up a place when team-mate Casey Stoner lost the front of his factory Desmosedici and crashed out - while just behind Rossi - two laps later.
Rookie Marco Simoncelli was seventh at the end of lap one and retained that place at the chequered flag for San Carlo Honda Gresini, but team-mate Marco Melandri made an early exit from his 200th grand prix, crashing out on lap 3.