Meanwhile Perugini, Ballerini and Azuma were now fighting for victory, with 30-year-old Ballerini contining to take chunks out of the Abruzzo backed rider's lead with every circulation. Indeed, by lap 14, Perugini's once 5secs lead had, unlike the water around him, evaporated.
Perugini held firm against his young countryman's onslaught for one and half laps, but that only allowed Azuma to catch up and make the fight a three way affair. Realising this, Ballerini put a firm move on Perugini to try and break away from the closing Azuma.
Having lost his lead, Perugini pushed hard to keep Azuma behind, but ultimately too hard and - after being kicked out of the seat once - he pushed his luck a little too hard and was thrown off properly soon after, handing Jenkner a potential podium.
Meanwhile, the Bridgestone backed Honda pair up front continued to circulate as if on a different circuit, Ballerini quickly building a 8secs lead over series veteran Azuma – who will retire at the end of the year – with the Japanese some 9secs ahead of Jenkner by the time they took the chequered flag.
Behind the top three, youngster Bautista rode the race of his life to pusheJenkner all the way to take an eventual fourth ahead of reining world champion Arnaud Vincent, Barbera, de Angelis and Lorenzo.
An amusing post race moment occurred when Ballerini, having kept his Honda on two-wheels through appalling conditions, then slipped over whilst celebrating his debut victory, and podium, with the jubilant Ajo team.
Full results to follow...
7. de Angelis