Sergio Garcia streaked to a second Moto3 victory of the year as he held off Jeremy Alcoba to win the Catalan Grand Prix by just 0.015s.
The lead train of 15 riders shuffled around almost corner-by-corner throughout the closing laps of the lightweight class contest as nobody wanted to lead onto the long start/finish stretch at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya circuit for the final time.
Leader Alcoba slowed almost to a crawl as the field navigated the final couple of bends for the penultimate time in his quest for a tow, Darryn Binder the man to eventually give in as he exited the final bend as leader ahead of Pedro Acosta, who had recovered once again from a lowly 25th on the grid.
The leading pair were swallowed up on the run to Turn 1 as the front-runners went seven-wide into the corner, Deniz Oncu the man to come out of the pack as leader while Acosta fell all the way to 13th as the biggest loser in the shuffle.
Jaume Masia soon found his way to the lead with around half-a-lap to go, with Izan Guevara and GasGas team-mate Garcia right on the Ajo pilot’s rear wheel.
Guevara dived for the lead at Turn 10 as he looked to secure an emphatic rookie win, though asked a little too much of his front tyre-therefore losing the front and sliding out of contention.
This left Garcia-who started the contest 19th– to move into the lead ahead of Alcoba, the Gresini man desperately trying to draft past Garcia on the run to the flag but to no avail as he ended up just 0.015s down off a first win in the end.
Oncu completed the rostrum positions for the first time ahead of Masia-the latter bumped back a spot due to a track limits infringement- while Binder managed to survive the final lap drama to complete the top five for Petronas SRT.
Gabriel Rodrigo made a spirited attempt to try and pull away on his own out front across the final few circulations, though the Argentinean found himself dumped back to eighth at the start of the second-to-last tour and could only recover to sixth.
Acosta fought back to seventh on the final lap ahead of Niccollo Antonelli and Kajto Toba, with Stefano Nepa bagging his best finish of the year in tenth.
Ayumu Sasaki looked good to add a fifth consecutive top five result to his account throughout the race but dropped back late on to an eventual 19th, while Leopard Racing duo Dennis Foggia and Xavier Artigas also lost out to take 20th and 21st respectively.
John McPhee meanwhile recorded his fifth non-score in seven encounters in a scary crash at Turn 3 around mid-distance, the Scot losing the rear of his Petronas SRT Honda and going down-his machine then sliding across the track.
This caused both Andrea Migno and Tatsuki Suzuki to go down in avoidance, leaving all three of them to retire on the spot.
Garcia’s win sees him close to within 39 points of Acosta in the points standings, with Masia now third a further nine adrift.