Casey Stoner blasted back into the 2011 MotoGP championship lead with his fourth victory of the season, during a wet and wild British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The Repsol Honda rider, who has won all but one of the races he has finished this year, took the lead from team-mate Andrea Dovizioso on lap two.

Once vision problems had cleared the Australian then 'sailed' to a massive 15.159sec victory over the Italian.

And with world champion Jorge Lorenzo crashing out, Stoner has turned a seven-point deficit into an 18 point lead over the Yamaha rider.

"At the beginning of the race we didn't have a great start and I needed to wait for the tyres to get up to temperature," recalled Stoner. "In the first few laps when I was behind the other riders I got a lot of spray up inside the visor and it was hard for me to see, or for me to push.

"At this time I was being careful, trying to cover my lines to stop them coming inside, then after five laps my visibility got clearer and the water drained away from my visor and I was able to start doing the lap times we were looking for and started to open up a gap.

"I was just happy to stay up on the bike, it was incredibly cold and I was so nervous as in these conditions it's so easy to crash! We had a great race today in very tough conditions where anything could have happened, but to come away with a win is fantastic".

Dovizioso faced stiff competition for the first half of the race, as he fought to hold off both Lorenzo and Marco Simoncelli. However, Lorenzo crashed out on lap 9 and Simoncelli on lap 11.

"I'm really happy with today's podium. It's a second place that feels like gold," said Dovi, who is now 15 points behind Lorenzo. "The track conditions were very tricky, with much more water than in the warm up this morning. We made a modification on the set up to have more rear grip and then we did a very good strategy.

"It helped us doing two laps before the race to bring the tyres up to temperature quicker. I had a very good start and then I was focused to manage the second position with Casey. I was braking very hard to close the doors to Lorenzo and Simoncelli. I had a good rhythm, not to far from Casey's pace, but he is very strong with these conditions so I preferred to manage my race the best I could.

"I want to thank my team for the hard work and the support. We need to improve the performance also in qualifying but at the important moment, in the race, we are there. We never give up. With today's second place we have consolidated the third position in the Championship and reduced the gap to Lorenzo. The season is still long so I'm confident".

Round seven of the 2011 world championship takes place at Assen on June 25, when team-mate Dani Pedrosa will hope to make his return.


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