Marc Marquez has broken 16 points clear at the top of the MotoGP World Championship after fighting his way through the field for victory in Sunday's Aragon MotoGP.

The Repsol Honda star, starting from fifth after a fall in qualifying, passed title rival Andrea Dovizioso, the injured Valentino Rossi and finally Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo to hit the front on lap 16 of 23.

But it was far from a smooth progression to the top. Marquez saved several moments, including a braking moment that saw him both Rossi and Lorenzo in one go… before inevitably running wide and dropping to the tail of the lead group.

However Lorenzo's soft rear tyre couldn't match the endurance of the hard chosen by Marquez and momentum swung increasingly to the younger Spaniard.

Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa also got stronger as the race went on, progressing from sixth in the early stages to catch and pass Lorenzo with three laps to go.

Nevertheless, at just 2.036s from victory, it was Lorenzo's best race yet as a Ducati rider.

Team-mate Dovizioso had little to celebrate, having soon lost touch with the leading quartet and increasingly vulnerable to attack from behind.

Also on the slick rear, the Italian's renowned smoothness didn't seem to provide much benefit on this occasion; the #4 struggling more than Lorenzo as he lost out to Pedrosa, Maverick Vinales and even Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro to finish in seventh.

Rossi, who shocked by claiming a front-row start just 23 days after breaking his right tibia and fibula, bravely held a podium place for two-thirds of the race.

Although the Italian faded in the closing laps it was hard to know if it was for physical or technical reasons, simply because he finished only half-a-second behind fully fit team-mate Vinales - who began the race on pole.

All of which means Marquez, who began the race tied with Dovizioso, is now 16 points clear of the Ducati rider heading to the first of next month's flyaway races, in Japan. Vinales has dropped 28 points back, more than a race win, while Rossi has lost fourth to Pedrosa.

Behind Dovizioso, Alvaro Bautista (Aspar), Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Pol Espargaro (KTM) completed Sunday's top ten. Espargaro restored order by crossing the line three-seconds clear of star test rider Mika Kallio, making a wild-card appearance.

Andrea Iannone (Suzuki), plus Marc VDS Honda team-mates Jack Miller and Tito Rabat completed the point scorers on a day when only Cal Crutchlow and Karel Abraham failed to finish, due to falls.

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