Jorge Martin moved from third to first on the final lap of the Valencia Moto2 Grand Prix, the Spaniard passing Marco Bezzecchi with just two turns remaining.
Martin looked set for a strong third as the 25-lap contest entered its final tours having passed Hector Garzo for the position as the Pons racer began to fade, though he started to close on leading duo Fabio Di Gianantonio and Bezzecchi across the final couple of tours as they battled for victory.
Di Gianantonio’s Speed Up looked to be clearly the stronger machine in the closing stages of the race, having passed the VR46 racer with five to go before running wide at the final corner and relinquishing the lead back to Bezzecchi.
He gathered himself back together over the subsequent few tours though and came back at the leader with a renewed attack, moving back ahead with a bold move at Turn 11 on the penultimate tour.
The Italian looked to be pulling away as the final tour progressed, though disaster would strike after Di Gianantonio crashed at Turn 6-elimanating him from contention for his first ever Moto2 victory just half-a-lap from home.
This was good news for Bezzecchi as he moved back into the leadership, though Martin and Garzo were now right behind him.
Martin set up a move into Turn 12 with a strong exit from the preceding bend, the KTM Ajo man sending a move down the inside and snatching potential victory away from Bezzecchi.
Sensing his chance, Garzo quickly followed through on the exit of the bend and even looked to try and pull off a shock debut win of his own as he set himself up to try and get a run on Martin on the run to the line as he defended into the final corner.
Martin had done enough to hang on though as he perfected his exit to take the chequered flag just 0.072 clear of Garzo, with Bezzecchi completing the podium in third.
Marcel Schrotter enjoyed a strong outing as he brought home his Intact GP Kalex fourth ahead of Luca Marini.
Series leader Enea Bastianini finished sixth just behind his title rival to extend his overall lead to 14 points as closest challenger Sam Lowes struggled for form with his injured wrist, while Remy Gardner took seventh for SAG Racing.
Bo Bensneyder bagged a strong result in his NTS chassis in eighth ahead of Niccolo Bulega’s Gresini machine, with Lorenzo Baldassarri rounding out the top ten.
Lowes limped home to 14th as he salvaged a couple of points, though he now has work to do if he wants to deny Bastianini the championship in next weekend’s finale in Portugal, the Brit now also just four points clear of Marini in the standings.
Pole-man Stefano Manzi found himself dropping back early doors as he struggled for speed on his MV Agusta, with things then going from bad to worse as he crashed out from fifth as the contest approached mid-distance while trying to hold off the closing pack behind.