|Rabat and Vinales make their move Photo:Marc VDS|
It was a day of peerless performances and great saves in the supporting classes as the Moto3 and Moto2 action got under way in catalunya under constant threat from the approaching rain.
Pole-sitter Alex Marquez performed the rare feat of pulling away from the rest of the pack in a Moto3 race to secure Honda their first win since Maverick Vinales stood on the top step for them back in 2012.
The Estrella Galicia rider was over three seconds ahead of his nearest rival Enea Bastianini who fought hard with the many riders in contention for the podium places on the way to a career best finish for the rookie.
Efren Vazquez was pleased to be able to fight up from eighth on the grid after electrical problems had left him little time to qualify as he barged his way through to third for the SaxoPrint-RTG Team.
Jack Miller spent much of his race sitting on the tail of the chasing pack before a final push to pick up places saw him rally for fourth place, adding two points to his championship lead, taking it to seven, as he passed closest rival Romano Fenati in the process, leaving the Italian fifth.
Sixth went to South African Brad Binder after a great push, his competitive ride leaving him as top Mahindra.
Issac Vinales had to settle for seventh after his recent podium appearances for Team Calvo. Niklas Ajo looked set for a podium finish before losing control, his massive save saw him sideways on the Husqvarna and he held on well enough to still score points in eighth at the flag.
John McPhee won his long battle with Francesco Bagnaia with the Briton nudging ahead for ninth leaving the SKY Racing Team VR46 rider to settle for tenth.
The remaining points went to Alexis Masbou in 11th, Mahindra’s Miguel Oliveira in 12th. Alessandro Tonucci on the CIP in 13th , Karel Hanika in 14th with Jakub Kornfeil securing the final point.
Brit Danny Kent finished out of the points for the first time this season in 17th. Alex Rins retired with gear lever trouble in the early stages.
Moto2 followed a similar pattern with Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat pulling away to an easy win in front of the home fans.
His fourth win of the season helped the Spaniard extend his championship lead to 34 points over team-mate Mika Kallio once he had seen off an early assault for position from rookie Maverick Vinales.
Though unable to keep up with Rabat’s pace, the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Pons rider was also well clear of the chasing pack in a clear second for his second Moto2 podium in his first year in the class.
The big battles happened in the race for third with the final podium spot eventually claimed by a perfectly executed move by Johann Zarco, giving AirAsia Caterham a much needed first podium appearance in the process.
The move pushed Kallio into fourth and Interwetten rider Tom Luthi into fifth.
Luthi had looked like a dead cert for third after Jordi Torres had caught his big rival for the place, fellow Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter for the Aspar man to make a mistake which saw him dramatically crash into the front of the Technomag bike, with Aegerter again managing a seemingly impossible save to score points in 14th.
Mattia Pasini was solo and without a tow in sixth with another big wait before the Tech3 of Ricky Cardus crossed the line in seventh.
Axel Pons had a career best finish in eighth for AGR ahead of the second Tech3 of Marcel Schrotter in ninth.
Ant West completed the top ten after fighting his way up from 27th on the grid for QMMF.
Lorenzo Baldassarri was 11th, Julian Simon 12th with Taka Nakagami 13th. The final point went to Louis Rossi in 15th in a crash filled race, including the notable moment where Jonas Folger ended his race to avoid hitting Luis Salom who had fallen in his path.