Miguel Oliveira grabbed a shock first victory of the year in the Catalan Grand Prix ahead of Johann Zarco, while Fabio Quartararo fell back late on after hitting trouble.
Oliveira made a strong start from fourth on the grid to run second behind Jack Miller on the opening lap, pole-man Quartararo falling to third.
Oliviera then managed to make a move on the leading Ducati for the lead just a tour later, leaving Miller to fight off the advances of Suzuki’s Joan Mir and Aprilia’s Aleix Esapargaro after Quartararo fell back while trying to pass the Aussie.
The leading KTM meanwhile began to stretch away, building a 1.2 second lead by the time Quartararo had dispatched the rider ahead and started to close back in.
The Frenchman started to pressure Oliveira as the race approached half-distance, the Yamaha man pouncing to take the lead at Turn 5 just as it looked like the RC16’s tyres had seen better days.
Oliviera was not going to lie down and take it though as he was soon back into the lead after using his more powerful machine to blast back past the M1 down towards Turn 1, Quartararo sitting in behind as the race approached its conclusion.
Late drama then struck for the series leader though as it appeared something broke on his leathers exiting Turn 3 with only half-a-dozen laps left, his attire completely opening-causing him to drop back as a result.
Zarco took advantage of Quartararo’s misfortune to move into the lead at Turn 1, the Yamaha man running wide as the Ducati fired through after nearly tucking the front.
The Pramac machine looked rapid over the final couple of laps though, Zarco lapping around half-a-second faster on the penultimate tour as he chased down Oliveira.
The Portuguese ace had just enough to hang on though across the final circulation as he screamed across the line to secure a third career MotoGP win by 0.175s over Zarco.
Miller completed the rostrum placings after on-the-road third place man Quartararo received a three-second penalty for cutting across the first turn, dropping him to fourth.
Mir ended up fifth after fading in the latter stages, the Suzuki racer holding off the second factory Yamaha of Maverick Vinales.
Francesco Bagnaia endured the Spanish sprint to take seventh ahead of Brad Binder’s KTM, while a struggling Franco Morbidelli and Avintia’s Enea Bastianini completed the top ten.
Alex Marquez ended up as best Honda in 11th as both factory men-namely Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro- crashed out early on, while LCR team-mate Takaaki Nakagami had to serve two long-lap penalties for track limits on his way to 13th.
Iker Lecuona crashed out late on while running a strong ninth for Tech 3 KTM, with Aleix also going down from seventh having just lost a place to Vinales around mid-distance.
Valentino Rossi’s promising weekend took a dive after dropping back from his 11th place on the grid, the Italian dropping out of the points initially before later crashing out from 13th at Turn 10 with around a thirds distance remaining.
Quartararo’s points lead drops to 17 over Zarco as a result of his fourth place run, with Miller now third a further 11 adrift ahead of the German GP in a fortnight