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Stoner splashes to Silverstone win, Edwards third!
12 June 2011
Casey Stoner took his fourth victory of the season at a cold and wet Silverstone, in a race that saw Jorge Lorenzo crash out of the title lead and Colin Edwards claim a podium just nine days after breaking his collarbone!
Fastest in every track session - in both wet and dry conditions - Stoner lost out to Lorenzo and Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso at the start, but both he and Dovizioso retook the Yamaha rider within a few corners.
After a handful of laps to test the conditions, Stoner seized the lead from Dovizioso on lap 2 of 20, then began pulling away - despite some vision problems - while Lorenzo remained trapped behind Dovizioso.
The sense of urgency got the better of the Yamaha rider on lap 9 of 20, when the world champion highsided off at the fast first turn, marking his first DNF since Australia 2009.
The accident came just moments after team-mate Ben Spies had crashed out of sixth and promoted Marco Simoncelli to third and a potential first MotoGP podium. Sadly for the all-action San Carlo Honda Gresini rider, he once again threw a rostrum chance away when he fell at the same corner as Lorenzo on lap 11.
Simoncelli's third DNF of the year put Colin Edwards into a popular third, just over a week after breaking, then undergoing surgery, on his collarbone - and one day after Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Cal Crutchlow suffered the same injury.
A sore Edwards began the race eighth on the grid, and showed no sign of weakness as he caught and passed Spies for fifth place, before the two accidents ahead of him.
Edwards responded to pressure from countryman Nicky Hayden in the closing stages, allowing the former double World Superbike champion to claim the podium he lost after a technical problem on the last lap of round two at Jerez.
That had also been the race in which Stoner lost the title lead to Lorenzo, after being collected by Valentino Rossi.
The 2007 world champion returned to the head of the standings by 18 points after a huge 15.159sec victory - his 27th in the premier-class - over Dovizioso, with Edwards a further 6.321sec behind at the line.
Edwards and Hayden had been the fastest riders on track in the closing stages, before Hayden backed off to confirm a repeat of his 2010 British GP result. Rizla Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista rode to an admirable fifth in his team's home event and was the last rider within one minute of Stoner.
Starting just 13th on the grid, and after a fall in morning warm-up, Valentino Rossi's first Silverstone race ended in a forgettable sixth place, while rookie Karel Abraham turned a MotoGP-best sixth on the grid into seventh at the flag.
Toni Elias (LCR), Hiroshi Aoyama (Gresini) and Loris Capirossi (Pramac) completed the top ten, with Hector Barbera (Aspar) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac) both lapped by Stoner.
With Dani Pedrosa joining home star Crutchlow on the collarbone injury list, only 15 riders began the race.
Silverstone returned to the MotoGP calendar last year and the 2011 event marked the debut of the circuit's new £27-million Pits & Paddock. 72,544 trackside fans watched Sunday's race.
The Dutch TT at Assen takes place on June 25.
Race results - Silverstone:
12. de Puniet
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