Rossi Holds Off Petrucci in Silverstone Thriller


Valentino Rossi has wrestled back control in the fight for the 2015 MotoGP world championship after winning a rain-affected British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The Italian first resisted the challenge of Marc Marquez before a mid-race crash, and then held off an inspired Danilo Petrucci in a gripping finale.

Conditions were changing by the moment in the run-up to the race and it led to farcical scenes on the formation lap. With every rider on slick-shod machines, the steady drizzle forced everyone into the pitlane for a change of motorcycles, rather than to the grid. With the scenario of 24 MotoGP bikes racing each other out of pitlane on their hands, race direction took the sensible decision to abort the start.

When the race did finally get underway, with everyone on wets, Lorenzo led away from the line but given his track record in the wet, it was no great surprise to see him swallowed up by Rossi and Marquez, the pair relegating him to third on lap three.

The front two opened up a six second advantage over the rest of the field but the pace proved too much for Marquez who lost the front end of his Honda at Copse in worsening conditions. By this point, Petrucci had incredibly made it to the front of the chase group, a pack that at one stage featured the two LCR Hondas. Having shown his wet-weather prowess once again, Jack Miller also showed his inexperience when a botched attempt at taking fifth took him and his teammate Cal Crutchlow out of the race.

Having avoided such dramas, Petrucci began to catch Rossi hand-over-fist, gaining four seconds in as many laps, but just as the Pramac rider looked to be within striking distance, Valentino responded and dashed any hopes of a satellite victory. Andrea Dovizioso saw off a frustrated Lorenzo for third while Dani Pedrosa was fifth on the sole remaining Repsol Honda.

Scott Redding was the first British rider home in sixth after edging out Bradley Smith while Andrea Iannone, Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia’s Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top ten.