Casey Stoner mastered dreadful conditions to win the British MotoGP at Silverstone and overtake Jorge Lorenzo at the top of the standings.

The Repsol Honda rider started from pole position and was untroubled as he made light of pouring rain to win by 15.159 seconds from Andrea Dovizioso.

Defending champion Lorenzo suffered a high-speed crash while Ben Spies and Marco Simoncelli also tumbled out.

Colin Edwards, riding with a broken collarbone, claimed a superb third.

Nicky Hayden and Alvaro Bautista completed the top five with Valentino Rossi finishing sixth on his first outing at Silverstone, after starting on the back row of the grid.

There were no British riders on display after Cal Crutchlow crashed in qualifying on Saturday and broke his collarbone, but a large crowd still turned out to see Stoner win his fourth race of the season on his 150th Grand Prix start.

Having started seven points adrift of Lorenzo in the championship standings, he now leads the Spaniard by 18 points, and team-mate Dovizioso by 33.

Lorenzo had the best start to lead into turn one but the Hondas of Dovizioso and Stoner were soon past at Copse corner.

And Stoner dived up the inside of his team-mate to take the lead on lap two.

Simoncelli then had a huge moment going into Abbey and was completely out of the seat before wrestling his Honda back onto the circuit just behind Lorenzo in fourth.

Stoner was beginning to open up an ominous lead but was still lapping over 20 seconds slower than his pole position lap from Saturday.

"At the beginning we didn't get a great start. But the bike felt good, and I waited for the tyres to get up to temperature," Stoner told BBC Sport.

"In the first lap I had water in my visor, so for the first five or six laps I couldn't really see properly. I couldn't see any puddles. But finally the water went away and I was able to do the lap times I wanted, and open up a gap."

The battle for second was close between Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Simoncelli before the world champion crashed out on lap eight.

The Spaniard had a similar accident to Crutchlow as he high-sided his Yamaha coming out of the fast Abbey corner but was lucky to walk away unscathed.

His team-mate Spies also crashed out on the same lap.

Simoncelli had moved into second place but then also fell victim to the foul weather as he crashed out after hitting heavy standing water under braking.

"I took a big risk at the same point in the first lap and, after that, I braked softer," said Simoncelli. "But I lost the front, and was completely straight with the aquaplane. I'm so disappointed because every time we are so close to a good result, something happens."

The retirements elevated Edwards into third place just nine days after he had 13 screws inserted into a broken collarbone.

Silverstone MotoGP result:
1. C Stoner (Aus) Repsol Honda
2. A Dovizioso (Ita) Repsol Honda
3. C Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha
4. N Hayden (USA) Ducati
5. A Bautista (Spa) Suzuki
6. V Rossi (Ita) Ducati
7. K Abraham (Cze) Ducati
8 T Elias (Spa) LCR Honda

Championship standings:
1. Casey Stoner (Aus) Honda 116 pts
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha 98
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Honda 83
4. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Ducati 68
5. Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 61
6. Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 60
7. Hiroshi Aoyama (Jpn) Honda 43
8. Colin Edwards (US) Yamaha 37

BBC Sport