Rain-master Rossi rules at Silverstone

Valentino Rossi claims his fourth win of the season after a masterful ride in the wet, with Petrucci and Dovizioso completing the podium.

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi won a wet and dramatic British Grand Prix to reclaim the title lead from Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, while Marc Márquez crashed out.

Rossi, who had topped the wet warm-up session, rose through the field from fourth, before closest rival Márquez lost control of his Repsol Honda.

Pramac's Danil Petrucci starred en route to his first podium in the premier class, while Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso completed the podium.

Drama ensued before the race had even started, with the field heading to the grid and beginning the formation lap on slicks, only for rain to fall.

All 25 riders duly returned to their garages at the end of a tentative lap to switch to their wet bikes, before gathering at the end of the pit lane.

But with the grid empty, and some bikes out of position, Race Control opted to delay the race by 25 minutes, and officially declare a wet start.

At the second attempt, with rain now falling heavily, it was Lorenzo who made the smoothest getaway from second to move into the lead of the race.

Behind him, Pol Espargaró, Márquez and Rossi squabbled over second, all three going wheel-to-wheel and exchanging places on multiple occasions.

Rossi proceeded to grab the position, with Márquez following him through, before the pair set about chasing race leader Lorenzo, who had a small lead.

Displaying much stronger wet weather pace, Rossi and Márquez soon arrived at the rear of Lorenzo's bike, before making moves stick in quick succession.

Rossi and Márquez traded fastest lap times to pull clear at the head of the field, while Lorenzo slipped back in third, and came under pressure from riders behind.

Petrucci, who made an electric start from 18th on the grid, was the first in the train to attack, slipping past at Village, with Dovizioso pouncing at The Loop.

Up front, Márquez found another level of pace to get within a couple of tenths of Rossi, but he dramatically crashed out at Copse with eight laps remaining.

While this gave Rossi a comfortable lead, the battling Petrucci and Dovizioso rapidly closed late on, cutting the advantage to little more than a second.

But Rossi had just enough in reserve to hold on and take his fourth victory of the campaign, with Petrucci a stunning second, and Dovizioso third.

Lorenzo crossed the line in fourth position – limiting Rossi to a 12-point championship lead – after getting the better of Dani Pedrosa's Honda.

Marc VDS rider Scott Redding, confirmed at Pramac for 2016 earlier in the day, finished as the lead Briton, ahead of compatriot Bradley Smith (Tech 3).

Ducati's Andrea Iannone came home eighth, while Suzuki's Aleix Espargaró and Aprilia's Álvaro Bautista completed the top 10 runners.

LCR Honda held fourth and fifth in the early stages, but Jack Miller slid into team-mate Cal Crutchlow's at Vale, with both riders ultimately retiring.

Espargaró was also running well on his Tech 3 machine after the early battle with Rossi and Márquez, before losing control of his bike at Becketts.

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