Jaume Masia flew to a first Moto3 victory of 2020 in the Aragon Grand Prix after passing Raul Fernandez with just a corner remaining.
The Leopard Racing man was forced to do the business the hard way after getting stuck in the second group of the riders in the opening stages of the contest, while the top five led by Fernandez escaped to a 2.5 second lead.
The Spaniard dug deep though, and aided by the leading group beginning to fight was able to close in and join the victory tussle by mid-distance-bringing John McPhee and Jeremy Alcoba with him to the party.
Pole-man Fernandez looked to be the fastest of the eight as he consistently found his way back to the lead over the closing laps, though Masia tried to put a failed move on him at Turn 7 on the final lap.
He had a second bite of the cherry as the leaders fired down the 1.2km back straight for the final time, the Leopard Honda cruising past Fernandez’s KTM well before the braking zone for the final bend.
With Fernandez also coming under attack from Darryn Binder, Masia was able to take it easy through the final long left-hand sweeper and claim victory by just 0.091 over Binder, the CIP Green Power racer relegating Fernandez for third.
Romano Fenati was fourth for MAX Racing, while McPhee recovered well from an early long-lap penalty to finish fifth.
The Petronas SRT pilot picked up the penalty for touring on the racing line during qualifying, the Scotsman electing to take the alternate lap on the third tour.
Despite dropping back to 18th, McPhee was able to drive back through the pack and onto the leading group, though a mistake on the penultimate tour effectively ended any hopes of claiming a second win of the year.
Alcoba took sixth ahead of championship leader Albert Arenas, whose points advantage now increases to 13 following another tough race for Ai Ogura.
Tatsuki Suzuki remained a part of the lead pack across the entirety of the 19 lap encounter, but faded towards the end to eighth.
Celestino Vietti’s gamble on a hard rear tyre didn’t pay off as he led the next group of riders home in ninth, with Dennis Foggia completing the top ten.
Ogura’s mystifying lack of speed in the past few events continued in Aragon, the Honda Team Asia rider only able to take the chequered flag 14th after passing Deniz Oncu late on-meaning Vietti closes to within five points of the Japanese ace.