Valentino Rossi won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday with a dominant pole-to-flag ride for the 113th victory of his career in all categories, as Antrim man Eugene Laverty consolidated his top-ten position in the overall standings with a ninth-placed finish on his Ducati.
37-year-old Yamaha rider Rossi kept Spanish team mate and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo comfortably behind him to take the chequered flag with his front wheel in the air in celebration. It was his 87th win in the top class.
Lorenzo finished second for his 100th career podium with championship leader and fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez in third place for Honda.
After four of the season's 18 races, and the first round in Europe, Marquez has 82 points and Lorenzo 65. Rossi is third with 58, while Laverty is ninth on 25.
"This was the perfect weekend," said Italian Rossi, who will have a new team mate next season with Lorenzo leaving for Ducati, after finishing 2.3 seconds clear.
"The bike in the race was fantastic...I had a good pace, a good start, I feel good with the bike from the beginning so I can push. It was a special taste, a win like this."
Rossi had not won since last August's British Grand Prix at a wet Silverstone, but Jerez has been good to him in the past and Sunday was his seventh top flight victory there in 17 starts.
Lorenzo felt he would have won but for tyre problems that forced him to ease off.
"The pace from the beginning was not very fast, said the man who set a lap record on his way to victory in Jerez last year. "Rossi was a little bit faster than me at the beginning of the race but in the middle I could keep the distance.
"When I was catching him, suddenly the centre of the tyre on the straight when I put third, fourth, fifth and sixth gears was spinning like I had wet tyres," he added.
Marquez had similar problems and said it had been simple damage limitation.
"I tried and pushed behind Lorenzo but I nearly crashed one, two, three times," he said. "Then I said 'OK, 16 points for the championship'. These two guys today were faster."