2012 title leader Jorge Lorenzo
celebrated his new Yamaha contract by carving his way through from fifth to first in an entertaining British MotoGP
The Yamaha star took the lead after racing side-by-side with reigning champion Casey Stoner
for five consecutive turns, just after the halfway point of the 20 laps.
Aside from a small scare with five laps to go, Lorenzo safely held his advantage to claim his fourth win in six starts by 2.575sec.
After being passed, Stoner - the only manufacturer rider to choose the softer option (new spec) front - found himself under renewed pressure from Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa
and Gresini Honda's debut pole sitter Alvaro Bautista.
The pace finally began to tell on Bautista in the closing stages, but Stoner and Pedrosa were locked together to the flag, with Stoner just holding on.
Lorenzo's third win in a row means he is now 25 points (one race win) ahead of Stoner in the standings.
Bautista confirmed a career best fourth place, with early race leader Ben Spies - who led for the opening four laps before running wide and allowing Stoner past - dropping to fifth by the halfway stage, where he remained.
Home hero Cal Crutchlow, who missed qualifying due to a left ankle injury in final practice, began the race from 20th and last on the grid.
The Englishman, who revealed this morning that the ankle is broken and dislocated, steered his Tech 3 Yamaha up to eleventh at the end of lap one and concluded a gutsy ride by passing Ducati's Nicky Hayden
for sixth place on the very final lap.
Sunday marked Crutchlow's first home grand race appearance, after being forced out of last year's event due to a broken collarbone in qualifying.