Nico Terol continued his perfect start to the 2011 125cc season by making it three wins from three races, at Estoril on Sunday.
Starting from his third pole of the year, and quickest in every track session leading up to the race, few were surprised to see Terol's Aspar Aprilia steadily disappear into the distance.
The Spaniard held an advantage of over eight-seconds before backing off in the closing stages. Terol is the first rider to win the opening three races since Masao Azuma in 1999 and now holds a 25 point advantage.
Behind Terol, a four-way fight for second place developed, involving his team-mate Hector Faubel, plus Sandro Cortese, Maverick Vinales and Johann Zarco.
Faubel crashed out of third place with four laps to go, giving Racing Team Germany's Cortese the breathing space he needed to secure second, while Zarco and Vinales fought to the line.
A photo-finish was needed to decide third place, which eventually went to the Ajo Derbi of Zarco by just 0.002sec over the Paris-Hilton backed bike of Vinales.
Home hero and 16-year-old rookie Miguel Oliveira, wasn't able to match his front row qualifying form in the race, but did claim a solid seventh place for the Andalucia Banca Civica team.
Rookies Danny Kent and Taylor Mackenzie, fourth and fifth in the wet of Jerez, both had a day to forget. Mackenzie couldn't even start after a shoulder injury in qualifying, while Kent was one of numerous riders to receive a jump start penalty. Kent did at least score the final point.
Race results - Estoril:
1. Terol (Aprilia) 23 laps
2. Cortese (Aprilia) +3.671s
3. Zarco (Derbi) +4.466s
4. Vinales (Aprilia) +4.468s
5. Folger (Aprilia) +12.140s
6. Vazquez (Derbi) +20.304s
7. Oliveira (Aprilia) +25.905s
8. Salom (Aprilia) +46.316s
9. Martin (Aprilia) +46.395s
10. Grotzkyj (Aprilia) +49.447s
15. Kent (Aprilia) +1m 13.752s
16. Webb (Mahindra) +1m 15.357s
Stafford (Aprilia) DNF