Misano - Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo has reignited his bid to defend the Moto GP world crown with victory in San Marino, the 13th leg of the 18-race championship, on Sunday.
Lorenzo, winning at the Misano circuit for the third successive season, finished ahead of championship leader Marc Marquez with Honda teammate and Spanish compatriot Dani Pedrosa in third.
Italy's seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi finished fourth on a Yamaha.
Lorenzo's 49th career win, and 28th in the sport's premier category, allowed him to pull level in the championship race with second-placed Pedrosa. Both now have a deficit of 34 points to Marquez with five races remaining.
A fortnight after claiming victory at Silverstone, he said it is crucial to be fighting in every event.
"It is important to win, because we don't lose points but we have only recovered five points, so it is the same as Silverstone," said the Spaniard.
"It doesn't make a big difference to the championship. But I'm very happy for this victory, because we struggled a lot during the weekend especially on braking."
Lorenzo came to the Italian circuit hoping to make it three in a row and declaring he was fighting fit following a crash in June and subsequent surgery on a broken collarbone.
And he let Marquez know of his intentions from the outset, powering his Yamaha from second place on the grid behind his fellow Spaniard into first place on the opening lap.
From then on, Lorenzo led the race and steadily opened up a gap on Marquez and Pedrosa, who went on to engage in a thrilling battle for second place in the closing laps.
Marquez admitted he made mistakes "in the first part of the race", but after collecting 20 valuable points the Moto GP novice said the title fight is far from over.
"There are still five races ahead with a lot of points still to be won so I will keep the same mentality and you will still see the same Marc on track," said Marquez.
Pedrosa said he struggled with edge grip on his tyres especially while cornering, and admitted: "I lost a lot on the first couple of laps, but tried to focus and do the perfect race every lap."
He added: "In the end I had to battle for a couple of laps with Marc (Marquez), but made one mistake in the last corner and lost touch with about three laps to go."
The 14th race of the season is the Aragon GP in Spain on September 29, with the season finale in Valencia
Results at Misano on Sunday in the San Marino Grand Prix meeting: -
1. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) 44:05.522, 2. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) at 3.379, 3. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 7.368, 4. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 15.062, 5. Stefan Bradl (GER/Honda) 22.355, 6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Yamaha) 22.599, 7. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Honda) 31.059, 8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 42.702, 9. Nicky Hayden (USA/Ducati) 44.858, 10. Michele Pirro (ITA/Ducati) 47.818
1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 253 pts, 2. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) 219, 3. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 219, 4. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 169, 5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Yamaha) 146, 6. Stefan Bradl (GER/Honda) 124, 7. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Honda) 112, 8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 104, 9. Nicky Hayden (USA/Ducati) 95, 10. Bradley Smith (GBR/Yamaha) 71
1. Pol Espargaro (ESP) 42:47.098, 2. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN) at 0.621, 3. Esteve Rabat (ESP) 1.815, 4. Thomas Luthi (SUI) 12.919, 5. Dominique Aegerter (SUI) 14.925, 6. Scott Redding (GBR) 15.123, 7. Johann Zarco (FRA) 15.259, 8. Xavier Simeon (BEL/Kalex) 20.369, 9. Mika Kallio (FIN) 20.615, 10. Nicolas Terol (ESP) 24.635
1. Scott Redding (GBR) 202 points, 2. Pol Espargaro (ESP) 179, 3. Esteve Rabat (ESP) 151, 4. Mika Kallio (FIN) 132, 5. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN) 125, 6. Dominique Aegerter (SUI) 119, 7. Johann Zarco (FRA) 104, 8. Thomas Luthi (SUI) 94, 9. Nicolas Terol (ESP) 83, 10. Simone Corsi (ITA) 74
1. Alex Rins (ESP/KTM) 39:50.516, 2. Maverick Vinales (ESP/KTM) 0.050, 3. Alex Marquez (ESP/KTM) 6.434, 4. Luis Salom (ESP/KTM) 17.297, 5. Jack Miller (AUS/FTR Honda) 18.011, 6. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (MAL/KTM) 18.133, 7. Miguel Oliveira (POR/Mahindra) 18.456, 8. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA/FTR Honda) 18.604, 9. Philipp Oettl (Kalex/KTM) 24.892, 10. Romano Fenati (ITA/FTR Honda) 25.113
1. Luis Salom (ESP/KTM) 246 pts, 2. Maverick Vinales (ESP/KTM) 227, 3. Alex Rins (ESP/KTM) 225, 4. Alex Marquez (ESP/KTM) 133, 5. Jonas Folger (GER/Kalex KTM) 120, 6. Miguel Oliveira (POR/Mahindra) 104, 7. Jack Miller (AUS/FTR Honda) 76, 8. Alexis Masbou (FRA/FTR Honda) 64, 9. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (MAL/KTM) 60, 10. Jakub Kornfeil (CZE/Kalex KTM) and Efren Vazquez (ESP/Mahindra) 56