Casey Stoner took a commanding victory in sweltering conditions at the Malaysian Grand Prix, recording his tenth win of the season in the process.
The 22-year-old Australian, who has been unbeaten since clinching the world title two races ago, led into the first corner on his Ducati and was never headed.
A late charge from Gresini Honda rider Marco Melandri was unable to eat in much to his margin as he won by 1.718 seconds. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium.
Stoner's win marked the first time anybody had won at the Sepang circuit in three classes of Grand Prix racing and also tied Colin Edwards' record of 17 points finishes in a season.
Stoner got the jump on polesitter Dani Pedrosa at the start, but was unable to pull away in the early stages, instead leading a four-bike train of the Spanish Repsol Honda rider, Randy de Puniet's Kawasaki and Melandri.
Melandri was already in trouble with a tube leading to his drinks bottle becoming detached and spraying liquid in his eyes, but he did not let it slow him down and passed de Puniet for third on lap five.
Next up was Pedrosa, who, despite having more horsepower from his latest engine upgrade, could not contain the Bridgestone-tyred Melandri and was forced to concede second four laps later.
Melandri tried hard to put Stoner under pressure, and reduced the leader's advantage to just under a second with four laps to go, but was unable to eke out the final few tenths when it counted and settled for second.
Pedrosa and de Puniet were next up, with the Frenchman lucky to reach the finish as his Kawasaki broke down on the warm-down lap.
Fifth was Valentino Rossi, who dropped to 11th off the start, but took his finishing position on lap four when he barged past Anthony West, before the Kawasaki man was handed a jump-start penalty that dropped him to the tail end of the points by the finish.
Nicky Hayden and Toni Elias had a great battle for sixth, mirroring that of their team-mates Pedrosa and Melandri.
Hayden looked to have grabbed the spot from the Gresini man at the final turn on lap 12, but missed his braking point and had to ride through the gravel before re-joining in tenth.
That promoted the Suzukis of Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins, who were tied to each other all race long, to seventh and eighth, with Hayden finishing ninth after passing Colin Edwards' Yamaha with two laps left.
Britain's Chaz Davies came home 17th on his d'Antin Ducati, the rookie passed by West with a few laps left as the Australian eventually made it to the flag in 15th.
Kurtis Roberts finished 20th and last, the KR rider having a trip through the gravel of his own at turn seven early in the race.
Jamie O'Leary / Eurosport
MotoGP - Grand Prix
|1||C Stoner (AUS)||Ducati MotoGP||00:00.100|
|2||M Melandri (ITA)||Fortuna Honda||00:01.701|
|3||D Pedrosa (ESP)||Honda Repsol||00:02.326|
|4||R De Puniet (FRA)||Kawasaki Racing||00:03.765|
|5||V Rossi (ITA)||Yamaha Factory||00:04.473|
|6||A Elias (ESP)||Honda Gresini||00:17.667|
|7||C Vermulen (AUS)||Suzuki MotoGP||00:20.950|
|8||J Hopkins (USA)||Suzuki MotoGP||00:22.198|
|9||N Hayden (USA)||Honda Repsol||00:22.450|
|10||C Edwards (USA)||Yamaha Factory||00:29.746|
|11||L Capirossi (ITA)||Ducati MotoGP||00:34.923|
|12||A Barros (BRA)||Ducati d'Antin||00:35.667|
|13||N Aoki (JPN)||Suzuki MotoGP||00:44.113|
|14||C Checa (ESP)||Honda LCR||00:44.486|
|15||A West (AUS)||Kawasaki Racing||00:49.658|
|16||S Nakano (JPN)||Konica Minolta Honda||00:51.726|
|17||C Davies (GBR)||Ducati d'Antin||00:58.905|
|18||M Tamada (JPN)||Yamaha Tech3||00:59.596|
|19||S Guintoli (FRA)||Yamaha Tech3||01:23.119|
|20||K Roberts (USA)||Team KR Honda||01:50.960|
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