Stoner Takes Championship Lead With Silverstone Victory

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Casey Stoner was in a different league to everyone else as he took victory in a rain soaked British Grand Prix, with championship rival Jorge Lorenzo crashing out. The Australian was fastest in every single session over the weekend and once he overtook the fast-starting Andrea Dovizioso on lap two, the victory was never in doubt.

It was actually Jorge Lorenzo who led into turn one after finding the most grip on the sodden race track, but the two Repsol Hondas breezed past him on the run to Copse on lap one after the World Champion had a moment coming through Woodcote.

Marco Simoncelli was looming large behind the Yamaha in fourth but very nearly crashed coming into Abbey on the fourth lap and was forced to take to the tarmac run-off area. Such was the pace of the Honda that the Italian was right back on the tail of Dovizioso and Lorenzo within a couple of laps.

The race would take a dramatic turn on lap eight when both factory Yamahas came unstuck. Ben Spies was the first to go down from sixth place before Lorenzo slid off at Copse. This was the first time the Spaniard had failed to score since Australia 2009 when he didn't even take the start. It would prove costly too as the rampant Stoner would overturn his seven point championship lead.

The race had now turned into a Honda benefit with Stoner leading by over three seconds from Dovizioso and Simoncelli who were battling for second. The San Carlo Gresini rider's hopes of a first ever podium in MotoGP were dashed again though as he lost control at Abbey for the second time on lap 11, only this time he couldn't keep the bike upright.

This promoted Colin Edwards to a stunning third ahead of Nicky Hayden and although the Ducati rider started to eat into his advantage, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 man hung on for a heroic podium finish, five seconds clear of Hayden.

Alvaro Bautista took a comfortable fifth to give Rizla Suzuki their best result of the season while Valentino Rossi at least salvaged sixth from a miserable weekend. Karel Abraham impressed again with seventh while Toni Elias had his strongest performance to date.

Hiroshi Aoyama and Loris Capirossi had a spirited battle for ninth which fell in favour of the Japanese rider. Hector Barbera and Randy de Puniet also fought hard over 11th place with the Spaniard coming out on top, but both faced the ignominy of being lapped four laps from home.

Casey Stoner now holds an 18 point lead over Lorenzo after his fourth win in six races with Dovizioso now closing to within 15 points of the Yamaha man in third place. Valentino Rossi is now 48 points in arrears in fourth place.

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