Max Biaggi was handed victory at the British Grand Prix on Sunday after Valentino Rossi was given a 10-second penalty almost three hours after the race.

Max Biaggi was handed victory at the British Grand Prix on Sunday after Valentino Rossi was given a 10-second penalty almost three hours after the race.

Rossi won the race, ahead of Biaggi, but race officials ruled that the world champion had overtaken Carlos Checa under a yellow flag at the start of lap two. The yellow flag was waved after Tohru Ukawa crashed on the first corner of the race. Ukawa needed two stitches in his right arm.

Sete Gibernau moved up into second place ahead of Rossi, while Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Biaggi led from pole into the crucial first corner, but Rossi was making progress through the field and by lap three he was behind Biaggi. Then Biaggi ran wide on the entry to the Esses on lap 13 and Rossi moved ahead. Biaggi tried to close the gap between himself and Rossi, which was more than two seconds, but only reduced it to 1,2 seconds at the flag.

Rossi's lead over Gibernau in the championship was reduced to 34 points after the penalty, while Biaggi moved to within three points of the Spaniard in third place in the standings.

"The final result is disappointing," Rossi said. "I did nothing wrong intentionally. I never saw the flags. I am disappointed but rules are rules and I can't argue with the law. I didn't take advantage of the situation and went on to win the race."

Biaggi sympathised with Rossi. “The decision of the race officials means that the 25 points go my way. I understand what he must be feeling because the same thing happened to me in a race in Barcelona in 1998, which I had won on the track. The only difference is that the decision subsequently cost me the championship.”

Results:

1 Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons)

2 Sete Gibernau (Honda)

3 Valentino Rossi (Honda)

4 Loris Capirossi (Ducati)

5 Troy Bayliss (Ducati)

6 Carlos Checa (Yamaha)

7 Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia)

8 Nicky Hayden (Honda)

9 Shinya Nakano (Yamaha)

10 Colin Edwards (Aprilia)

World championship standings:

1 Valentino Rossi (Honda) 167 points

2 Sete Gibernau (Honda) 133

3 Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons) 130

4 Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 84

5 Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 64

6 Alex Barros (Yamaha) 62

7 Carlos Checa (Yamaha) 57

8 Tohru Ukawa (Camel Pramac Pons) 56

9 Shinya Nakano (Yamaha) 54

10 Nicky Hayden (Honda) 46