Maverick Vinales gave Suzuki their first MotoGP victory for nine years with a remarkable performance at Silverstone. The Spaniard hit the front on lap one and was never threatened from there, becoming the fourth brand new winner in the last five races.
The race initially got underway in frightening circumstances with Pol Espargaro and Loris Baz colliding on the approach to Maggots, bringing out the red flags. Both machines were destroyed with the Spaniard stretchered away conscious from the scene and after track-side assistance, Baz too regained consciousness before being taken to the medical centre for further checks.
After the quick restart procedure was carried out, Vinales leapt straight to the front, scything past polesitter Cal Crutchlow into Abbey, and as the battle raged on behind, the young Spaniard stretched his advantage. By the time Valentino Rossi moved into second on lap six, Maverick was already 2.5s to the good and when the Yamaha failed to make any impression on the deficit, it became clear Vinales was heading for victory.
The fight for the podium certainly provided its fair share of excitement with Andrea Iannone slicing his way through from sixth to second in the space of three laps. Rossi was now falling backwards with Crutchlow depriving him of third on lap fourteen before a no-holds-barred battle with Marc Marquez ensued, the scrap going in the Honda rider’s favour.
Up ahead, Iannone lost his grip on second when the front end of his Ducati gave way but with Marquez released from his battle with Rossi, Crutchlow still had work to do to secure second. In the end, Marquez made an uncharacteristic error at Stowe, overshooting the corner and falling to fifth, allowing the home favourite to cruise home 3.4s behind the winner in second.
Rossi salvaged third while Marquez eased past his teammate Dani Pedrosa for fourth on the final lap, minimising the damage to his championship lead. Andrea Dovizioso was sixth ahead of Aleix Espargaro while Jorge Lorenzo rode an anonymous race to eighth.
Danilo Petrucci and Alvaro Bautista completed the top ten while Alex Lowes scored points on his MotoGP debut, bringing the sole Tech 3 Yamaha home in thirteenth.