DOG FIGHT:Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi (R) Honda rider Marc Marquez before going on to win the MotoGP race at the 2015 British MotoGP at Silverstone. Image: AFP/ Glyn Kirk
SILVERSTONE, England - Valentino Rossi won a rain-hit 2015 British GP to take a 12-point lead over Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo as Marc Marquez's hopes of retaining the 2015 MotoGP title all but vanished.
Pole-sitter Marquez fell on the 13th of 20 laps while running a close second, the Honda rider's crash leaving Rossi clear to take his fourth win of the season and lead an all-Italian podium with Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso.
Lorenzo, who had seized the lead from second on the grid but then faded, finished fourth.
SIX RACES REMAINING
Rossi now has 236 points to Lorenzo's 224 with six races remaining. The pair had started the day level on points but with Lorenzo ahead on race wins.
Marquez, now 77 points off the lead, conceded that his bid for a third successive title was effectively over.
Marquez said: "We can say that maybe now the championship will be too difficult."
The start was delayed for 30 minutes when rain began to fall after the race had originally been declared dry. That led to riders returning to the pits for a change of tyres and setup.
Lorenzo seized the lead at the start but Rossi, winning for the first time at Silverstone, passed him on the second lap to cheers from the 73 000 strong crowd.
Only Marquez was able to take the fight to him until a front-end wobble threw him into the gravel at Copse.
Rossi, who finished three seconds ahead of Petrucci, said: "When I saw Marc crash...I slowed down a little bit because I thought I had more advantage.
"I hoped Danilo would not risk too much because it's his first podium but anyway I had to stay concentrated. At the end the conditions were more difficult because there was more water so I didn't want to make any mistake."
Petrucci's second for the Pramac Ducati team - after he started 18th - came at the expense of works Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, who had to settle for third.
Rossi gave Petrucci a big hug after they stepped off their bikes.
Scott Redding was the top British rider, finishing sixth for the Marc VDS Honda team after announcing his move to Pramac for the 2016 season.
Watch: Marquez's front-end wobble throws him into the gravel
Results from the 2015 Britain MotoGP:
1 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 46:15.617
2 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ducati 46:18.627
3 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 46:19.734
4 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 46:21.343
5 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 46:26.749
6 Scott Redding (Britain) Honda 46:41.084
7 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 46:42.334
8 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati 46:45.010
9 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Suzuki 46:54.432
10 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Aprilia 46:57.329
11 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Suzuki 47:00.393
12 Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Honda 47:08.106
13 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati 47:26.828
14 Mike Di Meglio (France) Ducati 47:30.909
15 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) ART 47:33.480
2015 Motorcycling GP: Standings
1 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 236
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 224
3 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 159
4 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati 150
5 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 120
6 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 115
7 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 102
8 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ducati 83
9 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 81
10 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Honda 74
11 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Suzuki 67
12 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Suzuki 60
13 Scott Redding (Britain) Honda 47
14 Yonny Hernandez (Colombia) Ducati 41
15 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati 23