Lap 16 and Elias attempted to pass Sanna – but resulted in pushing them both wide, and each blamed the other as Sanna re-passed the Spaniard at the next corner, and set about trying to come back on terms with Cecchinello.
Elias was also fighting back and overtook Azuma – but the wily Japanese veteran looked to have the momentum down the straight – until the Spaniard swerved towards him, forcing Azuma to take evasive action.
The 18-year-old Telefonica rider then set about closing down his 'old' adversary Sanna, which he duly succeeded in doing after getting another great run out of the final corner and onto the main straight.
However, a mistake by Elias at that same final corner a few laps later allowed Sanna and Azuma back ahead, and the two elbowed each other into the first turn with the clearly fired-up Sanna forcing Azuma to yield.
So, with just 5 laps to go Cecchinello still led from Sanna, Azuma and Elias – with Poggiali threatening, but losing a place to Sabbatani after running wide while attempting to pass Elias.
The led duo then began to pull a slight gap over Elias, Azuma, Rodriguez and Poggiali – but no one was getting away that easily, and Elias was soon back once again to Sanna's rear wheel.
2 to go and Sanna made his move for the lead on Cecchinello into the first corner, while Elias looked to do the same – but Cecchinello chose to make his move mid-way around the lap and it would cost him dearly as Sanna fought back and the Italian lost drive - and positions.
The last lap and the frontrunners piled into the first turn banging elbows all the way – and allowing Sanna to break away slightly. Elias sat in second with Poggiali defending third from Azuma all the way to the line, in typically frantic racing.
Sanna was so delighted with his win that he pulled off the circuit to celebrate with the crowd – throwing his helmet into the mass of fans in a wave of emotion, before competing his slow down lap with an array of burnouts, waving and general celebrations.
Full results to follow…
2. Elias +0.247secs
3. Poggiali +0.701secs
4. Azuma +0.734secs
5. Cecchinello +1.370secs
6. Hules +2.202secs
7. Sabbatani +2.326secs
8. Rodriguez +5.877secs