Efren Vazquez snatched Moto3 victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his straight line speed helping him claim the top spot on the podium in his 116th race.
Losing out was Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Romano Fenati, just 0.065 behind the Spaniard, whose straight line speed on the RTG Honda could not be contained. The Italian weaved across the track to try to hold position when he led out of the final corner but could not halt or beat the pace of Vazquez.
It is Fenati's first podium since Catalunya despite suffering from tyre wear throughout the race.
The rostrum was completed by fellow KTM rider Jack Miller, whose podium finish kept him happy, extending his championship lead to 21 points with race winner Vazquez moving into second, 21 points behind the Australian.
With seven riders in contention in the early laps, the leading group expanded as the race drew to a close when Masbou, Oliveira and Kornfeil joined in at the front. With the lead changing repeatedly as the laps counted down the race result was far from decided with it all coming down to the final lap.
Class veteran Alexis Masbou made tremendous progress after being pushed wide in an opening lap incident at turn four for Ongetta-Rivacold. The Frenchman put himself in contention for the podium places, eventually being forced to settle for fourth after trading places with Miller.
Alex Rins made a dramatic improvement on race day. After qualifying down in 12th the Estrella Galicia rider battled back to take fifth, one place ahead of his team-mate Alex Marquez, who drops to third in the championship standings.
Miguel Oliveira had a strong late showing as he pushed forward for seventh, the best of the Mahindra riders.
Charging Juanfran Guevara capitalised on his best ever qualifying and held pace with the leaders, always present on the tail of the original leading group of seven racers to equal his best ever finish for Mapfre Aspar.
Brad Binder took ninth for Ambrogio racing while the last of the leading group to take the flag was Team Calvo's Jakub Kornfeil in tenth.
Just missing out on a top ten finish was the chasing Enea Bastianini in eleventh for Junior Team Go & Fun who crossed the line a second before Danny Kent in twelfth aboard the Husqvarna. Karel Hanika finished 13th for Red Bull KTM Ajo.
Jorge Navarro took a gamble in his first race for the Marc VDS team, breaking ranks as the only rider to start with a hard rear tyre. Though the move didn't pay off he held on for 14th, a massive improvement of his previous best finish of 22nd as a wild-card entry.
The final point on offer went to Zulfahmi Khairuddin for Ongetta-AirAsia in 15th.
After progressing to fifth by turn one SaxoPrint-RTG's John McPhee had his handlebars clipped by Navarro in the fourth turn, ending his hopes and pushing Alexis Masbou and Niklas Ajo Husqvarna out of contention at the same time.
Masbou may have staged an amazing recovery but Ajo's return to the action ended in retirement after another crash for the Finn with 14 laps remaining.
Also failing to go the distance was Kiefer rider Gabriel Ramos, Bryan Schouten, Matteo Ferrari and fellow Italians Francesco Bagnaia and Alessandro Tonucci both of whom attempted to rejoin the race before entering the pits.