Marc Marquez gave his Moto2 title hopes a significant boost with victory in a cagey four-way fight at Brno that exploded in the final laps.
For much of the contest the battle for victory was a slow burner, as cold circuit conditions seemed to limit the pace, if not the ambition, of the front pack.
With Scott Redding making a poor start from third and then crashing out at Turn 3, a lead quartet of Thomas Luthi, Pol Espargaro, Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone formed and gradually pulled away from the field.
Luthi's lead went unbroken, although not unchallenged, until three laps from the flag, when Marquez finally found a way through.
Interwetten-Paddock rider Luthi came back immediately – and was in turn immediately repassed – and attacked again on the final lap, but he was unable to prevent Marquez from taking his sixth win of the year on the Monlau Suter. The Spaniard's championship lead now stands at 48 points with six races to run.
His nearest rival Espargaro was also a fixture in the closing laps but, just as he closed in on Marquez, he was instructed to cede position to Iannone when it was discovered he had passed the latter under yellows.
It was perhaps unintentional that Iannone attacked and found a way through shortly after, and while Espargaro fought back past, he lost crucial yards in doing so and had to settle for third, with the Italian less than one tenth of a second down the road.
Simone Corsi also had a long battle for fifth, first with Nico Terol and later at the head of a six-way scrap. He held on to finish ahead of Alex de Angelis, Johann Zarco and Bradley Smith.
Results - 20 laps:
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap
1. Marc Marquez Monlau Suter 41m19.178s
2. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter + 0.061s
3. Pol Espargaro Pons Kalex + 0.440s
4. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Speed Up + 0.510s
5. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR + 10.319s
6. Alex de Angelis Forward FTR + 10.643s
7. Johann Zarco JIR Motobi + 10.717s
8. Bradley Smith Tech 3 + 10.873s
9. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Kalex + 11.047s
10. Esteve Rabat Pons Kalex + 11.517s
11. Julian Simon Avintia Suter + 12.388s
12. Nicolas Terol Aspar Suter + 12.603s
13. Jordi Torres Aspar Suter + 14.896s
14. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter + 17.772s
15. Axel Pons Pons Kalex + 17.848s
16. Mike di Meglio MZ + 17.906s
17. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Kalex + 18.495s
18. Yuki Takahashi Forward FTR + 30.630s
19. Anthony West QMMF Speed Up + 34.634s
20. Roberto Rolfo Technomag-CIP Suter + 34.765s
21. Ratthapark Wilairot Gresini Suter + 34.892s
22. Randy Krummenacher Switzerland Kalex + 36.981s
23. Marcel Schrotter SAG Bimota + 54.677s
24. Gino Rea Gresini Suter + 1m19.583s
25. Alessandro Andreozzi Speed Master Speed Up + 1m23.216s
26. Eric Granado JIR Motobi + 1m25.144s
27. Elena Rosell QMMF Speed Up + 1m32.208s
Claudio Corti Italtrans Kalex 18 laps
Xavier Simeon Tech 3 11 laps
Marco Colandrea SAG FTR 11 laps
Scott Redding Marc VDS Kalex 0 laps