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Silverstone MotoGP: Valentino Rossi wins wet race to resurrect lead

Valentino Rossi re-established his MotoGP lead by holding off underdog Danilo Petrucci to win a wet British Grand Prix, as Marc Marquez crashed out and Jorge Lorenzo was only fourth

Andrea Dovizioso made it two Ducati riders on the podium in a remarkable race turned upside down by rain before the start.

The shower had prompted the entire field to head into the pitlane for their wet-weather bikes at the end of the formation lap, with race direction opting to delay the start by 25 minutes rather than allowing the whole grid to try to start from the pit exit.

Although Lorenzo initially burst into the lead ahead of a huge battle between Marquez and Rossi when the race eventually began, his pace was not a match for his main rivals in the wet and he began to slip back.

Rossi assumed the lead, with Marquez glued to his tail through the first half of the race and looking poised to make a late challenge in the ever worse conditions.

But Marquez didn't get that far, having a high-speed crash at Copse just after half-distance. He was unhurt, but his title defence is now surely all but over.

His exit handed Rossi a six-second advantage, which rapidly began to come down.

Pramac Ducati rider Petrucci - always quick in the wet - had stormed through from 18th on the grid and was in a huge battle for second with works counterpart Dovizioso when Marquez crashed.

Both Desmosedicis then began rapidly gaining on Rossi, with the Yamaha's lead reducing to just 1.6s before a late spurt pulled him clear again.

The seven-time champion eventually won by three seconds, while Petrucci came out on top of his spectacular dice with Dovizioso to claim a maiden MotoGP podium in second.

Dovizioso briefly came under pressure from Lorenzo but was able to hold on to third, having risen from 12th on the grid.

Although Lorenzo's result could've been worse as he drifted right back to fourth at one stage, he still lost 12 points to title rival Rossi.

Dani Pedrosa finished a lonely fifth on the leading Honda, having dropped away from the podium battle in the closing laps.

Other underdog podium contenders' hopes were ended by crashes.

Cal Crutchlow had worked his way up to third on home ground when he was taken out by LCR Honda team-mate Jack Miller at Vale. The young Australian had impressively surged through the field from 16th, then undid his good work by outbraking himself and clattering into his team-mate.

Miller was out on the spot, while Crutchlow changed bikes and rejoined, before parking after a second crash.

Pol Espargaro spent a short spell in second following a great start, lost ground with a trip off track triggered by a clash with Lorenzo, then battled back from ninth to sixth before a heavy crash at Becketts ended his race.

Scott Redding was the leading Briton, beating Bradley Smith to sixth place.

Andrea Iannone chased them home on the second works Ducati.

Aleix Espargaro escaped a first-corner clash that ended Yonny Hernandez's race and sent his Suzuki team-mate Maverick Vinales wide to take ninth, with Alvaro Bautista getting the Gresini Aprilia into the top 10 again in 10th.

RESULTS - 20 LAPS:

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 46m15.617s
2 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Racing Ducati 3.010s
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 4.117s
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 5.726s
5 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 11.132s
6 Scott Redding Marc VDS Honda 25.467s
7 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 26.717s
8 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 29.393s
9 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 38.815s
10 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Gresini Aprilia 41.712s
11 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 44.776s
12 Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 52.489s
13 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing Ducati 1m11.211s
14 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Racing Ducati 1m15.292s
15 Alex de Angelis IodaRacing Project ART/Aprilia 1m17.863s
16 Loris Baz Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 1m19.310s
17 Eugene Laverty Aspar Honda 1m19.735s
18 Claudio Corti Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 1m58.086s
19 Karel Abraham AB Motoracing Honda 1 Lap
- Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha Retirement
- Marc Marquez Honda Honda Retirement
- Stefan Bradl Aprilia Gresini Aprilia Retirement
- Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Retirement
- Jack Miller LCR Honda Retirement
- Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing Ducati Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Rider Points
1 Valentino Rossi 236
2 Jorge Lorenzo 224
3 Marc Marquez 159
4 Andrea Iannone 150
5 Andrea Dovizioso 120
6 Bradley Smith 115
7 Dani Pedrosa 102
8 Danilo Petrucci 83
9 Pol Espargaro 81
10 Cal Crutchlow 74
11 Maverick Vinales 67
12 Aleix Espargaro 60
13 Scott Redding 47
14 Yonny Hernandez 41
15 Hector Barbera 23
16 Alvaro Bautista 22
17 Loris Baz 15
18 Nicky Hayden 12
19 Jack Miller 12
20 Stefan Bradl 11
21 Michele Pirro 8
22 Eugene Laverty 7
23 Hiroshi Aoyama 5
24 Mike Di Meglio 4
25 Alex de Angelis 2


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