Casey Stoner moved to the top of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship standings after claiming his first premier-class win at the Estoril circuit in Portugal on Sunday.
Stoner lost out to fast-starting Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa into turn one, but clung on around the outside, forcing the Spaniard into a tighter line on the exit.
Perhaps for that reason, Pedrosa's RCV kicked as he applied the power, allowing both Stoner and fourth-on-the-grid Jorge Lorenzo to blast past.
The world champion bolted to a one-second advantage by the end of the first lap and looked in danger of disappearing, after beating his own pole time in morning warm-up.
But Lorenzo and Pedrosa were able to stabilise and then eat into the Australian's lead, with the trio covered by less than a second after ten of the 28 laps.
Hopes of a three-way thriller morphed into a tense stand-off as each held their ground through the middle stages - Lorenzo almost close enough to strike and Pedrosa poised to exploit any errors.
Stoner soaked up the pressure, then dished out some of his own, pulling a few tenths further ahead with six laps to go. Stoner then effectively put victory out of reach of his rivals by taking a one-second lead into the penultimate lap and went on to win by 1.421sec.
Stoner, winner last Sunday at Jerez, has now taken MotoGP wins at all 18 rounds on the present calendar.
Qatar winner Lorenzo, who had taken three wins and a second place from his previous Estoril MotoGP starts, kept countryman Pedrosa at bay by 2.2sec, meaning Stoner leads the 2012 championship for the first time by just a single point from the Yamaha rider.
Behind the podium places, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mates Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow disputed fourth for much of the race.