Marc Marquez recorded his sixth consecutive victory of the MotoGP season after coming through an epic duel with Jorge Lorenzo to win a thriller at Mugello.
The pair swapped positions for the lead on countless occasions as Lorenzo provided the reigning world champion with his sternest test of the season.
Lorenzo appeared to have the measure of the his fellow countryman after leading for the majority of the race. The Yamaha rider had held the lead up until the penultimate lap before Marquez finally made a move stick.
The victory for Marquez has extended his championship lead to 53 points as he became the first rider to record six consecutive wins since Valentino Rossi in 2002.
Rossi, competing in his 300th MotoGP race, completed the podium in third after an impressive ride from 10th on the grid.
It was the Pramac Ducati of Andrea Iannone who leapt off the line at the start as the Italian led the field into the first corner.
The satellite Ducati rider’s lead was short-lived as Lorenzo stormed to the front.
After a hard fought battle over the opening laps, Marquez slotted into second while Rossi jumped in front of Iannone for third. The Yamaha rider climbed seven places in just four laps.
The top three began to pull away from the rest of the field as Marquez applied significant pressure on leader Lorenzo.
Further back Cal Crutchlow suffered a nasty low side which saw his bike clip Stefan Bradl sending the pair into retirement.
Marquez stalked Lorenzo lap-after-lap with the Yamaha just managing to hold onto his slim advantage.
Meanwhile, the battle fourth raged with Honda’s Dani Pedrosa holding off Iannone, Monster Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.
With just seven laps remaining, Marquez made his move when he swept around Lorenzo to grab the lead down the start/finish straight. Lorenzo tried to fightback immediately but Marquez shut the door.
However, Lorenzo quickly regrouped and shot back into the lead just a lap later.
The battle for the lead continued to rage as the race entered the final five laps with the pair swapping positions yet again.
Marquez moved into the lead again with just three laps to go before Lorenzo fought back to the front.
In the end, Marquez surged to the front on the final lap and he just about held of the Yamaha to take the chequered flag for the sixth time this season.
Pedrosa came through to finish fourth ahead of Pol Espargaro, Dovizioso and Iannone.
Alvaro Bautista, Forward Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro and Yonny Hernandez rounded out the top 10.
Australia’s Broc Parkes finished in 17th position for Paul Bird Motorsport.
The MotoGP world championship moves to Spain’s Catalunya circuit for round seven on June 14-15.
MotoGP Italian Grand Prix Results
|1||Marc Marquez||Honda||23 laps|
|5||Pol Espargaro||Tech 3 Yamaha||+15.603s|
|7||Andrea Iannone||Pramac Ducati||+17.129s|
|8||Alvaro Bautista||Gresini Honda||+27.407s|
|9||Aleix Espargaro||Forward Yamaha||+41.886s|
|10||Yonny Hernandez||Pramac Ducati||+45.212s|
|12||Karel Abraham||Cardion Honda||+45.831s|
|13||Scott Redding||Gresini Honda||+45.839s|
|14||Hiroshi Aoyama||Aspar Honda||+46.834s|
|15||Colin Edwards||Forward Yamaha||+1m09.554s|
|16||Michael Laverty||PBM Aprilia||+1m17.789s|
|17||Broc Parkes||PBM Aprilia||+1m35.031s|
|18||Mike di Meglio||Avintia FTR-Kawasaki||+1m37.501s|
|RET||Hector Barbera||Avintia FTR-Kawasaki||7 laps|
|RET||Michel Fabrizio||Ioda Aprilia||6 laps|
|RET||Cal Crutchlow||Ducati||3 laps|
|RET||Stefan Bradl||LCR Honda||3 laps|
|RET||Bradley Smith||Tech 3 Yamaha||2 laps|