By Julian Shea
At Donington Park
Championship leader Casey Stoner produced another dominant display as he won the British MotoGP at a soggy Donington Park.
Stoner celebrates his fifth victory in eight races
The Ducati rider came home ahead of pole sitter Colin Edwards and Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen to earn his fifth win of the season.
Valentino Rossi, Stoner's nearest championship rival, was fourth and now trails him by 26 points.
Vermeulen's team-mate John Hopkins came home in fifth.
Apart from a brief spell early on when Dani Pedrosa led after getting a superb start from third place, Edwards was out in front until lap 15.
But then Stoner made up a gap of more than one second to streak into the lead and after that the outcome was never in doubt, as he romped home nearly 12 seconds ahead of Edwards.
Heavy rain in the morning threatened to make a lottery of the race but in the event the rain stopped and the track dried out substantially in time for the start, and only two riders - Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa - failed to finish.
Stoner had to battle through the pack after making an ignominious start.
He got away well from fifth place on the grid but almost instantly clipped a white line and lost speed as the field swamped him.
Even after he passed Edwards, Stoner said he had doubts as to whether or not he would finish the race.
"Colin seemed to be taking it nice and slow and I knew I could go a fair bit quicker so I decided to go past him," he said.
"A few laps later I saw it was continuing to get drier and I was worried I might destroy the rear tyre and maybe we wouldn't finish, so I started going over all the wet patches I could and avoiding the dry line.
"I got to five laps left to go and realised it wasn't getting any worse so I just continued to ride on the dry line and at the end of the race it still looked pretty good."
Everything has been working perfectly all weekend
Stoner said he hoped the style of his win would silence some of his critics who said his success this season was all down to speed.
"It proves to a lot of people that the Ducati doesn't just have power. We've been improving the bike's weak points and now it doesn't have any particularly.
"I can't complain, everything has been working perfectly all weekend and pretty much all season," he said.
Edwards, who has yet to record a win in his career, was pleased with his podium place and admitted the better man won.
"This was the best start I got all weekend so I just put my head down, chipped away at the lap times and stayed consistent," he said.
"Just before Casey passed me, coming into the chicane I started breaking harder and the front locked on me.
"If it had been wet I would have been down. The same thing happened at the next corner, and Casey went by, and after that I was hanging on for dear life.
"Hats off to Casey, he rode an incredible race."
The next round of the championship, the Dutch TT, takes place at Assen on Saturday 30 June.
Earlier, Italian Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso scorched to victory under the rain in the 250cc category ahead of San Marino's Alex De Angelis and Hiroshi Aoyama of Japan.
Italy's Mattia Pasini won the 125cc race from pole position ahead of Japan's Tomoyoshi Koyama and Spaniard Hector Faubel, who takes over the championship lead from Hungary's Gabor Talmacsi who retired with mechanical trouble.
Donington Grand Prix result:
1. C Stoner (Aus) Ducati, 51 mins 40.739 secs
2. C Edwards (US), Yamaha, 51:52.507
3. C Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki, 51:56.417
4. V Rossi (It) Yamaha, 52:02.566
5. J Hopkins (US) Suzuki, 52:16.257
6. R de Puniet (Fr) Kawasaki, 52.17.213
7. A Barros (Brz) Ducati, 52:18.833
8. D Pedrosa (Sp) Honda, 52:19.731
9. A Hofmann (Ger) Ducati, 52:19.978
10. M Melandri (It) Honda, 52:42.265
1. A Dovizioso (It), Honda, 48 mins 40.173 secs
2. A de Angelis (SM), Aprilia, 49:02.275
3. H Aoyama (Jp), KTM, 49:43.310
1. Mattia Pasini (It), Aprilia, 41 mins 49.049 secs
2. Tomoyoshi Koyama (Jp), KTM, 41:52.302
3. Hector Faubel (Spain) Aprilia, 41:54.143