Andrea Dovizioso regained the lead of the MotoGP world championship with a magnificent victory in a nail-biting British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The Ducati rider chased down long-time leader Valentino Rossi to take his fourth win of the season and with Marc Marquez suffering a dramatic engine failure, Dovizioso leads the championship by nine points with six races to go.
With each of the front row starters on the harder option, tyre management was going to play a key role and with Yamaha so often fading late in races, Valentino Rossi’s plan was clear. The Italian stormed straight into the lead at Copse on the opening lap and took advantage of some squabbling behind to open up a one-second advantage over a chasing group of four containing Maverick Vinales, Marc Marquez, Cal Crutchlow and Dovizioso.
Patiently, Dovizioso picked off the challengers in front of him, slipstreaming his way past Marquez for third on lap six, before depriving Vinales of second shortly after half-distance, all the while chipping away at Rossi’s early advantage. With seven to go though, a key contender was removed from the action in a dramatic cloud of smoke as Marquez suffered a rare Honda engine failure, his RC213V expiring at the end of Hangar Straight.
Dovizioso was relentless in his pursuit of Rossi and on lap eighteen, the power of the Ducati took him through into a lead he wouldn’t relinquish while Vinales outbraked his team-mate into Brooklands, ensuring he would claim twenty points for second. Rossi held off Crutchlow for third, bringing himself back into championship contention.
Jorge Lorenzo ket the leading group in sight to finish fifth ahead of Tech 3’s Johann Zarco and the sole remaining Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa with Scott Redding and Alex Rins promoted to eighth and ninth after their respective team-mates crashed together on the penultimate lap, Andrea Iannone tailgating Danilo Petrucci.
Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top ten ahead of KTM’s Pol Espargaro who ended his day in bizarre fashion by crashing after taking the chequered flag.