Lorenzo passed both Repsol Honda star Pedrosa and his illustrious Fiat Yamaha team-mate Rossi to take the lead for the final time on lap 13, but Pedrosa couldn't get around Rossi's Bridgestone-shod M1 for a further two laps - by which time Jorge was just out of reach.

Pedrosa eventually crossed the line 1.8secs behind his fellow Spaniard, with whom he now shares the MotoGP World Championship lead.

"After our difficult pre-season it's good to be in this position now, so we are very happy," said Pedrosa, who had nonetheless punched his fuel tank with frustration as he crossed the finish line.

"When Lorenzo started pulling away I still had to pass Rossi, then when I did pass Rossi, Lorenzo already had a gap," recalled Dani. "I tried to close the gap, or at least maintain it. Finally we got second and it's a good result."