Traditional English weather of grey clouds and spitting rain didn’t stop the British making their way to the Northamptonshire circuit as over 73,000 people roared as nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi started from fourth on the grid to then lead from the second lap to the chequered flag of a wet race.
Going into the twelfth round of the championship, Rossi and teammate Jorge Lorenzo led the championship tied on 211 points. After completing the warm-up lap of what was declared a dry race, every rider returned to the pits immediately to change to their wet-tyred bike so incurred a 30-minute delay and the grid was reset.
Although defending world champion Marc Marquez had won pole position yesterday, it was Lorenzo who charged from the front row of the grid to the first corner, leading the first lap with Marquez on his heels. Rossi maintained fourth place but swiftly climbed to second within the first lap before lunging at the Spaniard on the second lap and stealing the lead.
With the rain coming down harder, Lorenzo quickly lost second place to Marquez and the front pair soon pulled away with a seven second gap to the chasing pack. British rider Cal Crutchlow got a great start from eighth place on his LCR Honda, overtaking Bradley Smith and Dani Pedrosa to eventually take third place from Lorenzo.
The Yamaha factory rider immediately hit back as LCR teammate and rookie Jack Miller, who had a magnificent start to climb up to fifth place, went into the corner too deep sending him straight into Crutchlow’s Honda RC213v and finishing his race there. Crutchlow attempted to carry on, entering the pits briefly and returning to the track only to crash a second time and retire to the pits for good.
With Pramac rider Yonny Hernandez being the first to retire by crashing in the first corner, teammate Danilo Petrucci made his way from 18th position on the grid through the pack to battle with the front runners on his satellite Ducati.
Finding himself incredibly in fourth place after the two LCR Honda’s vacated, Petrucci and compatriot Andrea Dovizioso simultaneously swooped on Movistar Yamaha rider Lorenzo on lap seven to then battle for the last podium position. Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa dropped Lorenzo further back by taking fifth place but the Movistar Yamaha rider soon found the pace to re-pass his compatriot.
On lap twelve, second-place Marquez - barely 0.1 seconds behind Rossi - highsided at turn 1, waving his arms in the air clearly having no idea what caused it, but promoted the two Italians behind to secure podium positions. Lorenzo passed Pedrosa for fourth place and began the chase for the two Ducati’s closing the gap to 1.619 secs but unable to challenge for the last spot and valuable championship points, having to settle with fourth place.
With Crutchlow out of the race, Scott Redding and Bradley Smith were left to fight for the British contingent, crossing the line in fifth and sixth places respectively, with fifth being the best result for Redding this season.
In Moto2 Johann Zarco took victory while defending world champion Tito Rabat and fellow Spaniard Alex Rins fought for the other two positions on the podium, with Rins taking second 2.2 seconds ahead. Englishman Sam Lowes fell from the front row of the grid to ninth position but battled with Tomas Luthi and Anthony West to cross the line in seventh place.
In Moto3, leading the championship standings by 45 points going into the British round, Wiltshire born Danny Kent led from the early in the race, taking the win and extending his lead to 50 points.
The next race will take place at Rossi’s home round of Misano in San Marino on Sunday 12 September. BT Sport 2 exclusively broadcasts all the action.Reuse content