Raul Fernandez dominated proceedings as he claimed his first ever Moto3 victory in the European Grand Prix at Valencia by just under a second.
The KTM Ajo racer found himself battling for the lead in the early laps after making a strong start from eighth on the grid, though the seeds for victory were sewn early on following an incident involving two title contenders.
Celestino Vietti was pushing hard for the leadership early on, though the VR46 pilot ultimately tired a little too hard as he high-sided at Turn 4 after only a few tours.
His subsequent crash forced points leader Albert Arenas to check up, with the following Alonso Lopez left with nowhere to go but into the rear of Arenas’ Aspar machine.
Lopez went down as a result, while Arenas sustained severe damage to his bike that forced him to pull into the pits for repairs-losing several laps in the process.
All this left Fernandez with a 2.6 second lead at the end of the tour, a lead that the Spaniard was able to control over the remaining 20 laps as he was forced to deal with the pressure thrown at him by the pursuing group of three riders behind him.
Tony Arbolino led the group, with Sergio Garcia and Arenas’ chief championship rival Ai Ogura pushing the Italian hard.
The trio edged towards Fernandez across the second half of the 23-lap contest, but were ultimately unable to deny him despite lowering his lead to just 0.703 by the time he took the chequered flag to record his debut Moto3 success.
Garcia meanwhile pulled off a bold move on Arbolino at Turn 1 at the head of the final tour to secure his first rostrum result of the season in second, while Ogura also took advantage of a wrong-footed Snipers racer to claim third and close to within just three points of the series lead.
Arbolino therefore had to make do with fourth, while Darryn Binder completed the top five after having his race compromised by a frustrated Arenas.
The Aspar rider returned to the track after receiving repairs to his motorcycle, but began battling the leaders despite receiving blue flags.
His battling with Binder in particular dropped the South African off the back of the trio ahead of him, causing him to drop to 13 seconds behind by the end of the race-while Arenas was black flagged for his troubles after consistently ignoring his blue flag warning.
Carlos Tatay bagged a strong sixth ahead of Stefano Nepa, while Jeremy Alcoba brought his Gresini-run Honda home eighth.
Filip Salac was ninth on the second Snipers entry, while Ayumu Sasaki rounded out the top ten for Tech 3.
Pole-man John McPhee failed to make the most of the pole position he claimed in dominant style on Saturday, the Scot slipping to ninth on the opening tour after making a sluggish getaway.
The Petronas SRT pilot then made an early exit as he lost the rear of his bike at Turn 1 after just five laps, giving away a golden opportunity to lift himself back into the title fight.
Double Aragon victor Jaume Masia was another to throw away a possible championship chance, the Leopard rider having a crash of his own at Turn 4 while trying to recover from his 28th place starting spot.
With Ogura having closed right in on Arenas with just two races remaining in 2020, Arbolino also did his chances of a late charge some good as he closes to within a race win of Arenas, while Vietti remains within range in third overall 20 points back.