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Valentino Rossi wins British GP in wet conditions, reclaims sole lead in MotoGP championship

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SILVERSTONE, England — Valentino Rossi won the British Grand Prix in wet conditions Sunday to reclaim the outright lead in the MotoGP championship, with Marc Marquez crashing out in another blow to his title defense.

Rossi, a seven-time world champion, finished in 46 minutes, 15.617 seconds on his Movistar Yamaha at the Silverstone circuit in central England for his fourth victory of the season. The Italian tops the standings on 236 points, a lead of 12 from Jorge Lorenzo after the teammates began the race tied for points.

Lorenzo was fourth in an eventful race in front of 73,000 fans, during which British rider Cal Crutchlow was taken down early by LCR Honda teammate Jack Miller before Marquez fell with eight laps to go.

PHOTO: Italy’s Valentino Rossi of Movistar Yamaha, left, takes a corner followed by Spain’s Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda during the Moto GP race at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, England, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Rossi won the race. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Italy’s Valentino Rossi of Movistar Yamaha, left, takes a corner followed by Spain’s Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda during the Moto GP race at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, England, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Rossi won the race. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ducati riders Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso were second and third, respectively, to complete an all-Italian podium. Petrucci was 3.01 seconds behind Rossi and claimed his first ever podium finish, having started 18th on the grid.

Marquez, who won the last two championships and set a lap record in qualifying to claim pole position, is 77 points behind Rossi with six races left. The next grand prix is in Misano, Italy.

The start was delayed for 30 minutes after rain on the grid forced the riders to return to the pits and swap for wet tires.

Rossi qualified in fourth place but was in the lead by Lap 2 and had soon pulled away from the field with Marquez.

The pair had a gap of 7 seconds to Petrucci by the ninth lap but Rossi's pace proved too much for Marquez, who crashed out on his Repsol Honda at Copse Corner. Rossi relaxed in the closing gaps and won easily for his first victory at the British GP.

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