Raul Fernandez cruised to a dominant success at Aragon in the Moto2 encounter after closest challenger Sam Lowes crashed out at mid-distance.
Fernandez-who is riding injured after breaking the fifth metacarpal in his right hand in a training accident last week-managed to get underway well from the front row and tuck in behind pole-man Lowes and team-mate Remy Gardner.
He soon dispatched series leader Gardner later on the opening tour before swiftly turning his attentions to leader Lowes, the Spaniard diving through to the lead only a few laps into the encounter.
He then opened up just over a second’s advantage over Lowes before the Marc VDS ace started to keep the gap constant as he steadied himself for a charge across the second half of the race, the leading duo lapping consistently faster than Gardner in third.
Lowes attack was not to be though as he lost the front of his Kalex at Turn 12 just past mid-distance, leaving Fernandez with a healthy six-second lead over his fellow KTM Ajo pilot.
He duly controlled his gap across the remaining circulations to take the chequered flag seven seconds clear of Gardner to narrow the Aussie’s points lead to 39 with five races remaining.
The battle for the final spot on the rostrum between Jorge Navarro and Augusto Fernandez was the one to watch though throughout the closing stages, Fernandez passing the Speed Up racer on several occasions before Navarro would quickly fight back and move back into third.
Fernandez would ultimately come out on top though as he pulled an effective block-pass manoeuvre on Navarro with only a few tours to go, leaving him to edge away and complete the rostrum just ahead clear of a disappointed Spaniard.
Aron Canet bagged fifth on his Aspar-run Boscoscuro machine having initially been firmly in the battle for the last podium place, though he faded late on to complete the top five ahead of Gresini’s Fabio Di Gianantonio and impressive 16 year-old rookie Fermin Aldeguer, who managed to get the best of both Ai Ogura and Marcel Schrotter on the last lap.
Schrotter had recovered well from 15th on the grid to catch Ogura across the final couple of laps, the German initially getting ahead before the resulting battle saw Aldeguer sneak ahead of the pair.
While Ogura managed to at least hang onto eighth in the end, Schrotter lost out to Intact GP team-mate Tony Arbolino at the death, the Italian having fought back from a lowly 23rd at the start to take ninth just clear of Schrotter.
John McPhee impressed on his Moto2 debut for the Petronas SRT squad in 20th as he displayed similar pace to the men just ahead making up the final points scoring positions, the Scot the only of the Malaysian outfit’s entries reaching the end after Xavi Vierge crashed early on.
Another big name to go out was Marco Bezzecchi, the VR46 rider having got himself close to the podium tussle before his untimely demise after sliding out at Turn 8 just before mid-distance.
Other front runners to come unstuck included Hector Garzo, who went down from the top five also at Turn 8, while Albert Arenas crashed from eighth in the closing laps.