|Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo finished first ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner of Repsol Honda [AFP]|
World champion Jorge Lorenzo snatched victory from Casey Stoner at the Italian MotoGP to close the gap on the current championship leader.
Yamaha rider Lorenzo overtook the Australian six laps from the end at the Mugello circuit to claim his second win of the season, having previously won at Jerez.
Stoner, starting on pole position for the fifth time this season, finished third after he also lost a place to his fellow Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso on the last lap.
Spaniard Lorenzo, second in the world championship, cut Stoner’s lead to 19 points after eight of the 18 races in the season. Dovizioso stayed third overall, a further 14 points adrift.
Stoner, world champion in 2007, was quick out of the blocks and built a lead of more than two seconds over Lorenzo and Dovizioso, who were locked in an enthralling battle for second.
However, the pair gradually closed the gap on the Australian before Lorenzo nipped past.
American Ben Spies, winner of the last race at Assen, took fourth place from Marco Simoncelli after repeatedly swapping places with the Italian throughout.
Italian great Valentino Rossi, starting 12th on the grid, battled his way through the field to finish sixth at the circuit where he suffered a broken leg during a practice accident just over one year ago.
Dani Pedrosa finished seventh on his comeback, having missed the last three races following his crash at the French grand prix.
Marc Marquez won his second 250cc race in a row after emerging triumphant from a three-way battle also featuring championship leader Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith.
The Spaniard has won three of the last five races although Bradl, who was second, still has a 52-point lead at the top of the standings, Marquez having failed to score in his first three outings.
World championship leader Nicolas Terol of Spain, who missed Assen after crashing in qualifying, won the 125cc race, his fifth victory of the season, to give Spain a hat-trick of wins.