MotoGP: Marc Marquez takes sixth successive victory after thriller in Mugello
Last Updated: 01/06/14 3:41pm
Marc Marquez: Remains dominant in MotoGP
Marc Marquez claimed a thrilling MotoGP victory in Italy where the Spaniard enjoyed his sixth straight success of the year to open up a massive lead in the World Championship title race.
The Honda rider edged out former champion and compatriot Jorge Lorenzo by just 0.121 of a second, after the Yamaha man had led for much of the race.
Marquez, who started on pole, fell behind on the opening lap after being overtaken by Lorenzo and Italy's Andrea Iannone.
But while Iannone soon slipped down the field to finish seventh, Lorenzo remained Marquez's main challenger with the pair often swapping places during the 23-lap race.
Lorenzo lost the lead for the last time at the start of the final lap and was unable to regain first place.
The result means Marquez becomes the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2002 to claim six successive wins in the Blue Riband category of motor-cycle racing.
"That was the hardest race of the season so far. I followed Jorge but he was so fast I had to fight to stay with him."
And despite losing out in the final few seconds, Lorenzo still collected his highest finish of the campaign, with Italian Rossi third ahead of Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa in fourth.
Rossi - who was 2.688 seconds behind the winner - is now second in the table, one point ahead of Pedrosa who was a distant 14.046s adrift in the race.
The race was Rossi's 300th Grand Prix and the 187th time he has ended up on the podium.
A triumphant Marquez admitted: "That was the hardest race of the season so far. I followed Jorge but he was so fast I had to fight to stay with him.
"But, in the end, I had enough power to pass him and this victory is very special."
Lorenzo, a two-time world champ, added: "I am nearly back to being at my best. Marc was fantastic and just had too much speed down the straights.
"I was able to fight with him but he was very brave and got the victory."
Spanish and Italian riders filled the topped nine positions, with Marquez now holding a 53-point advantage in the table after six of 18 races.
From a British perspective, Scott Redding was 13th on his Honda, some 46 seconds adrift while Michael Laverty was three places further down the list on his PBM and 78 off the pace.
Cal Crutchlow completed 20 laps on his Ducati, with Bradley Smith's Yamaha lasting one more circuit.
Another Spaniard, Tito Rabat, won the Moto2 race to extend his advantage in the championship - following his third victory of the season - while Italian teenager Roman Fenati took the Moto3.
Next up is the Catalonia GP in two weeks when Marquez will be on home turf.