Francesco Bagnaia reflected on "the best-ever start to a race in my life" after he roared from ninth on the grid to victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Ducati rider moved 23 points clear at the MotoGP title race summit with just one race to go, meaning he needs to only finish 14th to claim the championship next month in Valencia.
The Italian looked to have a fight on his hands to figure in the fight for the podium, though with rival Fabio Quartararo starting in 12th, both appeared to be out of the running before the lights went out in Sepang.
But a superb move down the inside of the first corner lifted Bagnaia to second, before race leader Jorge Martin's crash effectively helped hand him a major win - one that he could not contain his delight with afterwards.
"I want to say I had the best-ever start to a race in my life," he stated. "It was perfect. Following Jorge was a bit too much for the rear tyre and I was starting to stress.
"But then he crashed, unfortunately, and we did a really good job in terms of the championship. We can be very happy."
Quartararo, who finished third behind Enea Bastianini after also coming through the pack, raced with a fractured finger on his left hand, but still feels he has a chance of an upset in a fortnight in the final race of the season.
"The start was the key point, the first lap," he added. "We changed the strategy a little bit compared to Australia, where we wanted to keep the tyre fresh for the end.
"Even if now we are super far away [in the standings], I'm not giving up, and I want to finish in a good way in Valencia."