Mugello - Marquez Marquez claimed his sixth victory of this season in phenomenal style as he triumphed in a thrilling battle with Jorge Lorenzo at Mugello on Sunday.
After arguably the best eight laps witnessed this season, the reigning World Champion crossed the line 0.121s ahead of Lorenzo to become the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2002 to win six in a row.
The race began with Andrea Iannone making the most of his first-ever front row start to lead the way into the first corner ahead of Lorenzo only for the Yamaha rider, winner of the last three MotoGP races at Mugello, to dive up the inside at Scarperia to lead as they crossed the line.
Marquez, notoriously bad at starts this season, also made short work of Iannone while Rossi, who made up three places off the line, climbed to fourth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.
Rossi made his way through two laps later but could not claw his way closer to the battle at the front, which Lorenzo was still leading halfway through the 23-lap race.
Yamaha's Spanish rider put up a valiant effort to keep Marquez at bay with the 21-year-old right on his rear tyre for several laps. The reigning World Champion eventually made his move with seven to go as he used the slipstream down the main straight to pass Lorenzo across the line.
In his familiar position of P1 Marquez tried to put the power down but ran wide twice to allow Lorenzo first to close up and then to put his front tyre ahead. The Yamaha rider retook the lead in a move similar to Marquez's only to run wide himself. He came back two corners later to retake the lead.
Their battle continued as the duo traded positions lap after lap as every time it appeared as if Marquez had edged ahead, Lorenzo came back him. The double World Champion used different lines, including running wide down the start/finish straight, to have the better line through the first corner.
Marquez took the lead on the final lap and, despite sliding his rear tyre, appeared to have broken Lorenzo's challenge. Finding that little bit extra when it matter most, the reigning MotoGP Champion crossed the line to claim the victory by 0.121s ahead of Lorenzo.
Rossi, who had started 10th on the grid, finished a distant third on his 300th grand prix start, a welcome podium finish in front of his Italian fans.
Dani Pedrosa was fourth for Honda having engaged in a thrilling battle with Iannone midway through the race. The Ducati rider, though, was not able to hold on and dropped to seventh having also lost out to Pol Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso.
Alvaro Bautista was eighth while Aleix Espargaro was once again the leading Open class rider, bringing his Forward Racing home in ninth place.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith crashed out on Lap Four while Cal Crutchlow went down a lap later at Turn 3. The Ducati rider wiped out Stefan Bradl in his fall with the German, who earlier was hurt in a warm-up crash, taking a violent tumble.
They were joined on the sidelines by Hector Barbera, crash, and Michele Pirro, technical problems.
Standings from the Motorcycling Grand Prix MotoGP on Sunday:
1. Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 150
2. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 97
3. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 96
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 65
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 63
6. Pol Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 49
7. Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 44
8. Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda 39
9. Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 34
10. Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 34
Results from the Motorcycling Grand Prix Italy MotoGP on Sunday:
1. Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha
3. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha
4. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda
5. Pol Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati
7. Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati
8. Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda
9. Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha
10. Yonny Hernandez (Colombia)