Jorge Lorenzo completed a hat trick of MotoGP victories after reeling in and passing Casey Stoner to win the British Grand Prix. Despite a poor start, Lorenzo was clinical in his ascent up the running order and left his championship rival trailing in the second half of the race.
At the start, it was the other Yamaha rider that got the holeshot with Ben Spies outdragging Alvaro Bautista off the line. Stoner also sneaked ahead of the surprise polesitter at Abbey with Nicky Hayden passing Lorenzo for fourth in the early stages. Regular quick starter Dani Pedrosa was in even bigger trouble down in seventh. Home fans were delighted by the news that Cal Crutchlow had been declared fit to rider and the Briton made short work of the CRT bikes early on.
After his mishap in Barcelona, Spies was much calmer in the lead this time and held off Stoner until the fifth lap when the world champion capitalised on a slight error at Brooklands. Mindful that Lorenzo was back in fifth, Stoner was keen to break away before the Spaniard got up to speed. That plan was looking under threat as Hayden gifted fourth to the championship leader with a mistake at Copse while Bautista and Spies were disposed with in quick succession on lap seven. Stoner's lead was 0.9s but that comfort zone was soon to disappear.
A quarter of the advantage was eroded on lap eight before another half-second was wiped out next time around. It quickly became apparent that it was a matter of when not if, Jorge would pass and the Yamaha's superior drive out of Vale sent him past the Honda as they came round to complete lap eleven.
From then on, Lorenzo was untouchable with Stoner's attention now switched to two other Spaniards as Alvaro Bautista and a resurgent Dani Pedrosa closed in. Pedrosa took the final podium position away from his compatriot just after half distance and closed to within three tenths of Stoner but despite pressure on the last lap, Casey held on for twenty important points. Bautista took fourth with Ben Spies fading back to fifth.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3's rollercoaster of emotions continued as Andrea Dovizioso crashed out at Copse on lap ten. The team were now pinning their hopes on a pain-stricken Cal Crutchlow who was now up to eighth ahead of Valentino Rossi and Hector Barbera. On lap eleven, that became seventh as Stefan Bradl succumbed to the pressure at Brooklands.
Sixth placed Nicky Hayden was still eight seconds up the road but an inspired series of laps saw the Coventry rider chase the American down at one second per lap. With just the final 5.9km to go, Crutchlow was right on the tail of the Ducati and to the delight of the spectators, surged past at Maggotts, securing a superb sixth place in what must surely be his finest MotoGP ride to date.
Hayden was left to make do with seventh ahead of Bradl, Rossi and Barbera while Aleix Espargaro pipped Randy de Puniet for bragging rights in the Aspar camp and with it, the honour of top CRT finisher. James Ellison, meanwhile, ensured both British riders got in the points with fourteenth.