Dani Pedrosa was imperious in the Malaysian GP, the Repsol Honda rider taking his second win in three races, from pole position and leading all the way.
Second-placed Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) was semi-imperious, bullying his way into second and setting a new lap record as he chased in vain.
But hardly anyone noticed, in a storm of controversy that had been brewing since Thursday, and finally broke on the seventh of 20 laps of the fast, wide and slippery 5.5-km Sepang circuit outside Kuala Lumpur.
Title leader Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) launched a personal attack on defending double champion Marc Marquez on the eve of practice, accusing him of deliberate blocking tactics in order to help Lorenzo close up on points.
Marquez obligingly fulfilled the prophecy in the race, clearly slowing Rossi as the front two got away.
Then, after angry gestures, he deliberately slowed into one of the corners, pushing Marquez to the outside of the track. They touched, Marquez fell.
Did Rossi kick out at him to help him crash? Marquez said yes, Rossi said no. Race Direction said there wasn’t any clear evidence. He survived with just three penalty points, and a back-of-the-grid start for the final round in Valencia.
Lorenzo is now just seven points behind his team-mate. The bitter finale comes in two weeks.
Aussie Jack Miller wasn’t short of causing a firestorm in Sepang either – literally!
His Honda caught fire during qualifying. It erupted in flames, flipping Miller from the bike, before it tumbled spectacularly to land in the gravel trap.
Miller walked away unscathed and finished in 17th place in the final race.