MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo rode to his third victory in five races with an unstoppable performance in Sunday's British MotoGP.

The last time motorcycle grand prix racing was held at Silverstone was in 1986, before Lorenzo was even born, but the Spaniard was perfectly at home around the fast and challenging circuit.

After converting pole into the holeshot at turn one, the Fiat Yamaha rider's only opposition came on the opening lap, when Mugello winner Pedrosa - who had fallen in the two track sessions heading into the race - successfully lunged for the lead into Stowe, at the end of the Hanger Straight.

Lorenzo retook the advantage at the next Vale corner, but Pedrosa tried again at the new section - and again Lorenzo repassed him. The #99 then spun-off a series of fastest laps to steadily ride away from the field and won by 6.743sec after the 20 laps, but was over eight-seconds clear for much of the race.

Lorenzo now holds a huge 37 point title lead, and marked his latest victory by dressing up as one of the Beatles and joining three others in a 'St. Pepper' themed celebration.

Despite such a combative start, Pedrosa was overtaken by both Randy de Puniet and Andrea Dovizioso before the end of the first lap and dropped steadily backwards thereafter, eventually taking the flag in a crushing eighth place.

Fortunately for the 70,000 fans, while Lorenzo rode into the distance, the fight for second only got closer as the race went on - with Dovizioso and de Puniet caught by Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies and then Casey Stoner with three laps to go.

Stoner suffered an appalling start to sit 15th and last into turn one, and initially made only modest progress up the order, holding eighth at the halfway stage. The Ducati star then passed Pedrosa and rookie Marco Simoncelli in quick succession, before joining the podium group.

But Stoner was ultimately a 'bit player' in that contest.

Dovizioso soaked up the pressure to just keep his factory RCV at the head of the group for his best result of the season and is now second in the championship - while de Puniet's LCR Honda dropped to the back after apparent grip problems.

The final podium place thus came down to an all-American last lap battle with Ducati rider Hayden, chasing his first podium of the season, and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie Spies, fighting for his first ever grand prix rostrum.

Hayden thwarted Spies' first attack on the brakes into Stowe, but a defensive line through into the fastest turn on the circuit, the new Abbey curve, allowed Spies to cut inside the 2006 world champion on the exit and the World Superbike champion clung to his first grand prix podium by 0.214sec.

Hayden hit his helmet in frustration after his fourth fourth-place of the year.

Stoner was less than a tenth behind his team-mate in fifth, with de Puniet sure to be at least slightly disappointed with sixth after such a strong showing all weekend.

Seventh for San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Simoncelli was his best result so far in the premier-class.

Behind Pedrosa, Colin Edwards was never a factor on the second Tech 3 machine, while Aleix Espargaro rose from 13th to tenth for Pramac Ducati.

Simoncelli's team-mate Marco Melandri failed to finish after crashing out of seventh at the end of the first lap.

Another Italian - Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi - was forced to ditch his Suzuki in the gravel after a fumbled overtake of Hector Barbera into Copse later in the race.

Capirossi's rookie team-mate Alvaro Bautista had just overtaken Barbera, but the Aspar rider got 11th place back by the flag.

Only 15 riders started the race after reigning 250cc world champion Hiroshi Aoyama hurt his back in a morning warm-up fall from his Interwetten Honda and was taken for a precautionary CT scan.

World champion Valentino Rossi is out of action until at least August after breaking his leg at Mugello.

Round six of the 2010 world championship, the Dutch TT at Assen, takes place next Saturday.

British Grand Prix:

1. Lorenzo
2. Dovizioso
3. Spies
4. Hayden
5. Stoner
6. de Puniet
7. Simoncelli
8. Pedrosa
9. Edwards
10. Espargaro
11. Barbera
12. Bautista
13. Kallio