An inspired tactical move helped Marc Marquez produce a superb comeback to clinch a fourth consecutive victory at the German Grand Prix and extend his lead in the MotoGP Championship.
The Repsol Honda rider dominated qualifying to sit on pole position at the Sachsenring, but heavy rain earlier on Sunday made racing difficult for the field and led to plenty of positional changes throughout the race.
Indeed, the Spaniard was unusually tentative in the early stages and had slipped as low as 10th, but a bold decision to take on slick tyres during a bike change with 13 laps to go proved decisive.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) led the front-runners including Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Hector Barbera (Avintia) into the pits, leaving Marquez a clear track and only Jack Miller - winner in Aspen last time out - to chase.
Marquez swept up the Australian with ease and went on to secure a dominant win, with Crutchlow and Dovizioso passing Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati) on the last lap to take second and third respectively.
Rossi eventually came home in eighth, while defending champion Jorge Lorenzo - who qualified 11th having crashed on Saturday - endured another miserable day, coming home in 15th to slip 48 points adrift of Marquez in the riders' standings.
TURN 8 WOE CANNOT DERAIL SLICK MARQUEZ
World Championship leader Marquez had won at the Sachsenring six years running through three different classes and, having clinched a dominant pole, was the overwhelming favourite to take a magnificent seven.
But the Spaniard endured a heavy crash at Turn 8 in the morning warm-up and that perhaps played on his mind as the usually carefree rider seemed tentative and slipped down the field.
His difficult day continued when he veered off track, again at Turn 8, during the race but his switch the slicks started a brilliant fightback through the field.
PETRUCCI SKIDS OUT OF CONTENTION
Danilo Petrucci enjoyed a magnificent start to the race, weaving his way from fourth on the grid to the head of the field with 27 laps remaining.
The Pramac Ducati rider appeared well placed to challenge for a maiden MotoGP victory until he lost the front end going downhill at Turn 3 and skidding into the gravel. He got back on the bike, but his hopes of victory had evaporated.
BRADL TAKEN TO HOSPITAL
Aprilia rider Stefan Bradl was hoping to put on a show in front of home support in Germany. However, a heavy crash in the morning warm-up meant he was unable to take to the grid and the 26-year-old was taken to hospital for a precautionary scan.
IN THE POINTS
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 47:03.239
2. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) +9.857
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +11.613
4. Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati) +11.992
5. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) +22.755
6. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda)+25.920
7. Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia) +26.043
8. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) +26.449
9. Hector Barbera (Avintia) +26.614
10. Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) +31.274
Marc Marquez 170
Jorge Lorenzo 122
Valentino Rossi 11
Dani Pedrosa 96
Maverick Vinales 83
Repsol Honda 266
Movistar Yamaha 233
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 107
The riders now have a near month-long break before heading to Austria for round 10 of the season on August 14.