Jorge Lorenzo dominated a largely uneventful Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, and greatly reduced the points gap to title leader Valentino Rossi, while Yamaha won the constructors' championship.
The Spaniard, who qualified on pole yesterday, lost a position to perfect starter Dani Pedrosa when the lights went out, but regained the lead during the first lap and never looked back. He increased the gap consistently to win by a margin of over six seconds.
Rossi, by contrast, had a lonely and disappointing race to a distant fourth place that saw him lose up to one second per lap and more importantly 12 points to Lorenzo in the championship table, with the lead now reduced to 18 points with three races to go this season.
But the highlight of the race was Casey Stoner, whose return after a three-race break saw him taking a strong second place with his Ducati, after the Australian made successful overtaking manoeuvres on Colin Edwards, Rossi, and Dani Pedrosa in the opening laps.
Pedrosa took the final podium position with his Honda, albeit 3.5 seconds behind Stoner, but a massive 13 seconds before Rossi.
Tech 3 Yamaha's Edwards finished fifth, ahead of a hard fighting Toni Elias, who made plenty of passes with his Gresini Honda from 13th on the grid.
Honda's Andrea Dovizioso finished seventh, followed by Ducati's Nicky Hayden, Tech 3 Yamaha's James Toseland, and Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen completing the top ten.
Mika Kallio crashed his Pramac Ducati out of sixth place on lap six, while de Angelis retired his Gresini Honda on lap eight and Loris Capirossi did the same with his Suzuki later in the race.
Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap 1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 45m35.522s 2. Casey Stoner Ducati + 6.294s 3. Dani Pedrosa Honda + 9.889s 4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha + 23.428s 5. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha + 32.652s 6. Toni Elias Gresini Honda + 35.709s 7. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 35.723s 8. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 38.830s 9. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha + 44.093s10. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki + 52.863s11. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda + 55.698s12. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki + 1m04.515s13. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati + 1m04.538s14. Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda + 1m27.299sRetirements: Loris Capirossi Suzuki 22 laps Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 9 laps Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 6 laps