A race-long battle between Marquez and Rins was resolved by just 0.013 seconds in the latter’s favor after undercutting the Honda rider, who came through Woodcote’s fast right-handed for the 20th and final time.
It is Rins ‘second win in MotoGP – his first in Austin earlier this year – and a second win in three attempts for Suzuki after Maverick Vinales’ triumph for the same brand at Silverstone three years ago.
Vinales finished third for Yamaha just 0.6 seconds behind the leading pair, while Valentino Rossi was a distant fourth on the grid, 10 seconds behind Rins after starting the second.
History of the race
Marquez turned the pole into an early lead ahead of Rossi, but behind the leading couple there was drama when Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Dovizioso were embroiled in a violent incident.
Quartararo, the only rider to start in the top 6 who opted for a mid-size front tire, suffered a high-side failure from Copse, and Dovizioso failed the Frenchman’s battered Petronas SRT Yamaha, which acted as the launch pad for the Ducati dodge.
Both drivers were initially relieved of serious injuries, but Dovizioso was rushed to hospital after it was discovered that he briefly lost consciousness in the accident.
The incident helped move Rins, who started fifth, to third, and in the second round the Spaniard beat Rossi in second.
Rins then spent most of the race closely following Marquez. The first real focus of their fight came on lap nine, where Rins better left Copse and got past Marquez – just so the pair could switch back and into Stowe along the hangar straight.
Marquez was never able to shake off Rins, however, and while he suffered a wobble in the club on lap 17 that cost him about half a second, he was right back on the reigning champion’s rear wheel at the end of the lap.
Rins was close to attempting a move into Vale on the penultimate lap but couldn’t find a way, but a few corners later in The Loop he cut under Marquez. But again, the Honda’s superior power enabled Marquez to regain the lead along the Wellington Straight.
At the start of the final lap, Rins looked around Woodcote for his winning move, although on that occasion Marquez forced his rival to the curb and held the advantage.
Rins stayed close during the final lap, leaving Luffield strong, then dipping into the final corner under Marquez for a popular win.
After the failure of Dovizioso, Marquez was able to increase his points advantage to 78, with seven rounds of the season remaining.
Behind the top pair, Vinales had already picked up Rossi on lap seven, but didn’t have the pace to catch up before he ran out of laps and had to be content with third place.
Franco Morbidelli (Petronas) achieved his best result of the season with a rather uneventful run to fifth place ahead of local hero Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) and Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati).
Pol Espargaro led KTM’s challenge in ninth place while teammate Johann Zarco pulled out Miguel Oliveira’s Tech 3 motorcycle on a ill-advised train at The Loop.
Andrea Iannone finished 10th for Aprilia and also got his best result of 2019, although Aleix Espargaro was on the right track until a late mechanical problem ended his race.
Suzuki deputy Sylvain Guintoli took four points for 12th place, while Jorge Lorenzo on the second Repsol Honda finished 14th after giving way in a race-long fight against Hafizh Syahrin on his first start since the Barcelona race in June would have.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) crashed out of the top 10 but got back in and finished 17th.