Valentino Rossi has taken a commanding victory in the British Grand Prix, the Italian leading almost the entire event - but being shadowed by Colin Edwards, who went on to take second place and with it his first ever MotoGP
Rossi made a strong start from pole position, but was abruptly overtaken by third on the grid Loris Capirossi
as the field threaded its way through the fearsome Craner Curves for the first time.
Sete Gibernau would demote the Italian to third a few corners later, but that was Rossi's lowest point; he would retake second from Sete at the Melbourne Hairpin, before passing Capirossi for the lead under braking at the Foggy chicane on lap 2.
Meanwhile, Edwards would work his way past the Ducatis Bayliss and the Capirossi by lap 3 and was soon closing on the top two. The Texan would tuck behind team-mate Gibernau for two further laps before outbraking him into turn one and setting off in pursuit of Rossi, now 1.2secs ahead.
The #45 would become the fastest rider on the race track in his efforts to catch the Italian, but could only take a few tenths out of the #46 and by the midway point of the race (lap 15 of 30) Rossi had rebuilt his lead to 1.4secs.
Gibernau was 0.4secs behind, but rarely able to threaten his team-mate while 5secs of Donington
race track lay between the Catalan and fourth placed Nicky Hayden, who was now ahead of Bayliss, but unable to shake the on-form Aussie.
Rossi would stretch his lead to 4secs over the reminder of the event, before backing off out of the final turn as he stood upright on his Yamaha – with his hands behind his back – to take the chequered flag. The Doctor's only mistake of the afternoon would come a few minutes later when he stalled while celebrating with the British fans.
Meanwhile, the two Telefonica machines wheelied their way across the line 2.9 and 4.4secs behind Rossi. Edwards was clearly delighted with his first MotoGP
podium after a difficult first half of the season, while Gibernau was also smiling after erasing the memory of two DNFs and moving back to second in the world championship standings... but
22-points behind Valentino.
If this was Formula One, Edwards would almost certainly have been asked to wave his team-mate past. Thankfully no such move was made, but Colin's pitboard was seen with the word 'switch' on it...