Toni Elias extended his lead in the Moto2 world championship after a crash-strewn French GP at the Le Mans circuit this afternoon.
The Spaniard kept his head in another dramatic 26-lap encounter to win for the second successive race and stretch his points lead over Shoya Tomizawa to a healthy 18-points.
Former MotoGP winner Elias got a brilliant start from seventh on the grid and was second on the opening lap behind compatriot Alex Debon.
Hopes though that Debon would be able to mount a serious threat to give British chassis specialists FTR its first Moto2 success were quickly crushed when he was penalised for jumping the start.
He eventually finished 16th.
It left Elias, who is one of only seven riders to win a Grand Prix in four different classes, to fight it out with home favourite Jules Cluzel and polesetter Kenny Noyes.
But Noyes’ hopes of his first rostrum were ended when he tumbled out of contention on the British-built Harris chassis on lap five.
Noyes had become the first American rider to claim pole position for the intermediate class since John Kocinski at Phillip Island in 1990 in yesterday's qualifying session.
Cluzel thrilled a massive home crowd on lap six when he snatched the lead from Moriwaki rider Elias.
But those cheers soon turned to groans when the French rider spectacularly crashed out at the fast first corner on lap seven.
A lap later and Elias got another big boost when further down the field championship leader Shoya Tomizawa crashed out with Italian Mattia Pasini.
For the remainder of the race, Elias’s only threat came from compatriot and reigning 125GP world champion Julian Simon.
Riding with a Swiss-built Suter chassis for the first time since ditching the RSV frame he used with minimal success in Qatar and Jerez, Simon got to within a second of Elias before fading in the decisive final stages.
Elias eventually won by 1.336s with Simone Corsi winning an exciting battle with fellow Italian Andrea Iannone to claim his first Moto2 podium.
British rider Scott Redding claimed his first points in the 600cc four-stroke class with a hard fought 11th place.
The Gloucestershire rider had forced himself into seventh place at one stage before he slipped outside of the top ten.
It was another disastrous day for the Tech 3 Racing squad in its much-anticipated home race.
For the second time in three races, both Yuki Takahashi and Raffaela de Rosa crashed out.
Japanese rider Takahashi was fighting his way back from seventh into podium contention when he lost the front on lap five. Italian de Rosa high-sided out of top 15 contention on lap seven.
1 Toni ELIAS SPA Gresini Racing Moto2 Moriwaki 43'29.277
2 Julian SIMON SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Suter +1.336
3 Simone CORSI ITA JIR Moto2 Motobi +2.831
4 Andrea IANNONE ITA Fimmco Speed Up Speed Up +4.880
5 Gabor TALMACSI HUN Fimmco Speed Up Speed Up +13.293
6 Sergio GADEA SPA Tenerife 40 Pons Pons Kalex +13.415
7 Ratthapark WILAIROT THA Thai Honda PTT Singha SAG Bimota +14.294
8 Fonsi NIETO SPA Holiday Gym G22 Moriwaki +14.554
9 Stefan BRADL GER Viessmann Kiefer Racing Suter +23.503
10 Roberto ROLFO ITA Italtrans S.T.R. Suter +23.687
11 Scott REDDING GBR Marc VDS Racing Team Suter +23.959
12 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Blusens-STX BQR-Moto2 +24.955
13 Lukas PESEK CZE Matteoni CP Racing Moriwaki +25.068
14 Alex BALDOLINI ITA Caretta Technology Race Dept I.C.P. +26.023
15 Claudio CORTI ITA Forward Racing Suter +28.765
16 Alex DEBON SPA Aeroport de Castello - Ajo FTR +32.240
17 Niccolo CANEPA ITA RSM Team Scot Force GP210 +33.607
18 Arne TODE GER Racing Team Germany Suter +34.789
19 Thomas LUTHI SWI Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 Moriwaki +43.180
20 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Mapfre Aspar Team Suter +43.522
21 Vladimir IVANOV UKR Gresini Racing Moto2 Moriwaki +47.761
22 Valentin DEBISE FRA WTR San Marino Team ADV +51.571
23 Robertino PIETRI VEN Italtrans S.T.R. Suter +59.692
24 Joan OLIVE SPA Jack & Jones by A.Banderas Promoharris +59.939
25 Yannick GUERRA SPA Holiday Gym G22 Moriwaki +1'07.377
26 Anthony WEST AUS MZ Racing Team MZ-RE Honda +1'16.171
27 Vladimir LEONOV RUS Vector Kiefer Racing Suter +1'16.528
28 Mashel AL NAIMI QAT Blusens-STX BQR-Moto2 +1'20.977
29 Bernat MARTINEZ SPA Maquinza-SAG Team Bimota +1'22.982