Marc Marquez grabbed the lead of the 125cc World Championship by dominating the Catalan Grand Prix at Barcelona.
The 17-year-old Spaniard made a clean getaway on his Ajo Derbi, and after briefly losing the lead at the first corner to Bradley Smith, re-took the position and was able to run and hide for the rest of the afternoon, eventually winning by 4.6 seconds.
Marquez's result means he now has a one-point lead in the championship over Pol Espargaro, and also made him the first man since Youichi Ui nine years ago to win four 125cc grands prix in a row.
The battle for second place was the highlight of the race, and featured the Aspar Aprilias of Nico Terol and Bradley Smith and Espargaro's Tuenti Derbi. The trio swapped places on virtually every lap, all three usually utilizing the braking zone for Turn 1 to complete their moves.
Things got a bit crazy on the final lap though. First erstwhile championship leader Terol slipstreamed by his team-mate on the start/finish straight, who then also lost third under braking to Espargaro. Once Espargaro had passed Terol two corners later, the latter tried unsuccessfully to re-pass his title rival, allowing Smith back past.
The British rider then blasted by into second at the La Caixa hairpin with just three corners of the race remaining. In a desperate attempt to rescue a podium finish for himself, Terol applied the power too early exiting the corner and slid into the gravel and out of the race, reducing the battle to two.
Smith beat Espargaro over the line to secure his best result of 2010 while some 40s further back Sandro Cortese edged his Ajo Derbi inside Efren Vazquez's Tuenti-run example to grab fourth right at the death. It was the German's best result of the year.
Tomoyoshi Koyama (Team Germany Aprilia) headed a five-bike scramble for sixth, ahead of Randy Krummenacher (Arie Molenaar Aprilia), Johann Zaro (WTR Aprilia), and Jonas Folger (Ongetta Aprilia) all separated by just over a tenth of a second.
Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1. Marc Marquez Derbi 40m46.315s
2. Bradley Smith Aprilia + 4.638s
3. Pol Espargaro Derbi + 4.996s
4. Sandro Cortese Derbi + 45.366s
5. Efren Vazquez Derbi + 45.433s
6. Tomoyoshi Koyama Aprilia + 49.685s
7. Randy Krummenacher Aprilia + 49.735s
8. Johann Zarco Aprilia + 49.743s
9. Jonas Folger Aprilia + 49.775s
10. Danny Webb Aprilia + 53.115s
11. Adrian Martin Aprilia + 58.669s
12. Simone Grotzkyj Aprilia + 58.800s
13. Alberto Moncayo Aprilia + 1m02.050s
14. Marcel Schrotter Honda + 1m15.497s
15. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Aprilia + 1m16.029s
16. Jakub Kornfeil Aprilia + 1m26.441s
17. Louis Rossi Aprilia + 1m33.613s
18. Luca Marconi Aprilia + 1m36.186s
19. Joan Perello Honda + 1m36.223s
20. Michael Van Der Lambretta + 1m36.340s
21. Johnny Rosell Honda + 1m43.804s
22. Marco Ravaioli Lambretta + 1m55.331s
23. Peter Sebestyen Aprilia + 1 lap
Nicolas Terol Aprilia 21 laps
Luis Salom Aprilia 14 laps
Eduard Lopez Aprilia 11 laps
Isaac Vinales Aprilia 10 laps
Sturla Fagerhaug Aprilia 7 laps
Alexis Masbou Aprilia 5 laps
Esteve Rabat Aprilia 0 laps
Jasper Iwema Aprilia 0 laps
Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 0 laps