Ducati's Loris Capirossi proved he was back to his best after injury with victory in the Czech Republic MotoGP in Brno.
Two months ago the Italian was injured in a pile-up in Catalunya but he banished any doubts over his competitiveness by taking the lead from second place on the grid and setting a string of fastest laps, including a circuit record of one minute 58.157 seconds.
Reigning world champion Valentino Rossi, who had started on pole, held Spaniard Dani Pedrosa to finish second with Kenny Roberts fourth. Championship leader Nicky Hayden finished ninth after a problem with his rear tyre.
Capirossi admitted he was so frustrated before the weekend he felt like quitting the race. "I said on Friday 'Let's take a flight tomorrow' because nothing was working but the whole weekend was fantastic," he said. "The plan today was to start well and do my best on the first laps. I saw that I was putting in good times and I was impressed."
Rossi was satisfied with his performance despite allowing Capirossi to steal a march on him from the start. "I'm happy because we gained important points," said the Camel Yamaha rider. "I tried to stay close but we had problems today with rhythm."