BRNO - Spain's Jorge Lorenzo won the Czech Republic MotoGP race in Brno on Sunday to level Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi at the top of the overall championship standings after 11 out of 18 races.

Fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez, the reigning champion and winner of the previous two races, finished second ahead of Rossi. Lorenzo clocked 42min 53.042sec on the 22 laps of the 5.4-kilometre (3.36-mile) circuit, finishing 4.462sec ahead of Honda's Marquez and 10.397sec clear of Rossi. Both Lorenzo and Rossi have 211 points at the top of the overall standings but Lorenzo has won five races this season against three wins for the Italian superstar.

Marquez in third has 159 points following a lacklustre start to the season. "Luckily I had a little more pace than Marc and I could win this very important victory for the championship," said Lorenzo, the 2010 and 2012 champion. "Now I lead the championship with Valentino and for Marc it is more difficult now to recover."

The first non-Honda rider to win at Brno since his own victory here in 2010, Lorenzo already dominated the free practice sessions in the southern Czech city before smashing the circuit record in qualifying on Saturday. On the hot, dry Sunday afternoon, the 28-year-old led all the way from pole position, with Marquez nestled in right behind him. But unlike at Indianapolis last weekend, Marquez never got a chance to get past Lorenzo, who gradually started to broaden the gap.

Riding on two medium compound tyres, Lorenzo said he "was a bit worried at the end of the race" as the bike slid in traction, forcing him to "be careful with the throttle."

Marquez admitted that "it was really difficult to win the race" given Lorenzo's pace. "But my target was try to win (finish) in front of Valentino and I did," added the 22-year-old 2013 and 2014 champion.

"In the beginning I tried to follow (Lorenzo) and I knew that with the new tyres I could do it the first five or six laps but when the tyres dropped we struggled with the grip. "I just forgot about Jorge and tried to keep the distance with Valentino. Today we did the maximum. I'm happy for the result," added Marquez, who won at Brno in 2013. Rossi, who has made it on to the podium in all races so far this season, got off to a poor start, losing two positions from third on the grid as Lorenzo and Marquez sped ahead. "Unfortunately my start was bad and I lost some time in the first laps," said the 36-year-old, who has won nine championship titles across all categories.

"Jorge and Marc were faster than me and I was a bit in trouble to ride the bike so I tried to push but I wasn't fast and strong enough to stay with them," he added, refusing to blame his choice of the hard tyre option on both wheels. "I chose the best tyre for me during the practice, not to go faster in the second half of the race," said Rossi, who has won five top-class races at Brno, the last one in 2009.

Andrea Iannone on a Ducati finished fourth ahead of 2014 Brno winner Dani Pedrosa on a Honda and fellow Italian and Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso. Pedrosa worked his way up through the pack from ninth at the start following a heavy crash in Friday's practice in which he injured his left foot.

In Moto2, championship leader Johann Zarco of France took the honours ahead of Spaniards Tito Rabat and Alex Rins. And in Moto3, Italy's Niccolo Antonelli took a maiden victory ahead of compatriot Enea Bastianini and South African rider Brad Binder in a race suspended for half an hour following a series of crashes that required a re-start. The next MotoGP event is the Great Britain grand prix at Silverstone on August 30.