Honda's Marc Marquez increased his stranglehold on the 2019 MotoGP world championship on Sunday, as he produced a flawless performance to win the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.
A wet track meant the race start was delayed and the tricky conditions could have easily given the pole-sitter problems. However, Marquez had the race under control from start to finish, moving through the gears late on to pull away from Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.
Jack Miller and Alex Rins were involved in an exciting battle for the final step on the podium, with the former eventually taking third.
The win for Marquez was his sixth in just 10 races in 2019, his 50th in premier class racing and increases his lead over Dovizioso to a massive 68 points.
It was clear just how much the win meant to the 26-year-old after he crossed the finish line:
After rain in the morning, the organisers decided to delay the start of the race due to wet portions of the track. It also resulted in the race distance being chopped down to 20 laps.
It meant a frustrating wait for the riders and the fans, as conditions were assessed:
When the race did finally get underway, there were no signs of nerves from pole-sitter Marquez, as he was able to hold off Dovizioso into the first turn after getting away from the line well.
Despite his strong start, the Honda man wasn't able to shake off the chasing pack in the challenging conditions straight away, as Dovizioso, Miller and Rins were all in close proximity throughout the opening stages of the race.
However, as the riders moved past the halfway stage of the grand prix, Marquez's consistency at the head of the field started to take its toll. Miller and Rins dropped off the leading group to squabble for third, leaving the Spaniard and the Italian in a straight fight for victory.
Marquez's next task was to brush off Dovizioso, although his desire to put daylight between himself and his rival at the front of the race almost cost him:
The world champion was able to recover from that misstep though. Marquez was quickly back into his groove and on the 14th lap, he was able to build a sizeable margin to Dovizioso, moving two seconds clear.
From there, the race was effectively over, with the Ducati man happy to settle for second spot. It meant those looking for excitement turned to the scrap for third between Miller and Rins, with the former eventually overtaking the latter on the penultimate lap for his second podium of the season.
The next stop on the 2019 calendar will be a trip to Austria in a week's time. If Marquez is to be denied a sixth MotoGP title, someone will need to produce a special finish to the season, starting next weekend.