Roby Rolfo won his first world championship race since 2004 at Sepang on Sunday, as Toni Elias lifted the inaugural Moto2 title (see separate story).
Fifth by the halfway mark of the 19 laps, Rolfo rose through the order in the second half of the race and battled fellow former MotoGP rider Alex de Angelis, also seeking his first Moto2 victory, in the closing stages.
Rolfo, third at Sachsenring, rode a defensive last lap to beat the Sammarinese by just 0.040sec and claim the first win for himself and the Italtrans STR (Suter) team.
de Angelis was clearly disappointed, but at least took his first Moto2 podium for JiR (MotoBI).
Five seconds further back, third place went to multiple 2010 winner Andrea Iannone (Speed Up), who got the better of Elias by 0.4sec.
Elias was effectively crowned champion before the race had even finished when Julian Simon crashed from his Aspar Suter - having earlier almost fallen while fighting with Elias.
Simon, who needed to take six points more than Elias to keep the title fight alive, rejoined to finish 21st.
Race results - Sepang:
1. Rolfo (Suter) 19 laps
2. de Angelis (MotoBI) +0.040s
3. Iannone (Speed Up) +5.915s
4. Elias (Moriwaki) +6.322s
5. Debon (FTR) +11.912s
6. Abraham (FTR) +12.458s
7. Bradl (Suter) +12.519s
8. Aegerter (Suter) +12.589s
9. Cluzel (Suter) +15.100s
10. Corsi (Motobi) +16.707s
Redding (Suter) DNF