'Winning here at my favourite circuit for the fourth time makes me particularly happy,' Capirossi said. 'It feels great to be leading the series for the first time, but even if there are only four races to go, I can't say anything about my championship hopes yet.'
The race-long battle for second place provided the highlights, Tadayuki Okada crossing the line on his Honda a tenth of a second ahead of Doriano Romboni's similar machine with the world champion, Tetsuya Harada, another half a second behind on a Yamaha.
Massimiliano Biaggi, who was leading the title chase from Capirossi before this round, dropped to third in the standings after crashing his Aprilia on lap 19 of the 27-lap race. 'Two laps earlier, I felt the engine tighten a little, then it locked and I went down,' said Biaggi, who was unhurt in the slow-speed tumble. 'I felt comfortable until then - the pace wasn't at all hot in the early stages. I'm very unhappy this had to happen.
'Now we have a long gap before Brno and I know I'll be thinking a lot about what happened today. I just wish we could get back on the bikes right now and have another race.'
The 125cc event brought victory for Takeshi Tsujimura, on a Honda, who, in a flurry at the finish, beat Stefano Perugini's Aprilia by two-tenths of a second with Peter Oettl third on another Aprilia. Kazuto Sakata was fourth on an Aprilia and maintained his position at the top of the table.
The sidecar grand prix on Saturday produced a gripping finish when Derek Brindley and his passenger, Paul Hutchinson, just failed to overtake the winners, the Swiss pair of Rolf Biland and Kurt Waltisperg, who increased their lead in the standings with a victory by six-tenths of a second.