How come Valentino Rossi went from zero at Phillip Island to (fallen) hero at Sepang on Sunday?
Sunday was Rossi’s greatest ride in more than two years – 46 races since he defeated a hard-charging Marc Márquez at Barcelona in June 2016. (It was a sign!)
First of all, his speed and consistency may shut up the armchair racers who suggest he is past it. When the bike and the tyres do what he wants them to do, Rossi can be as fast as anyone, even in suffocating 34 degC heat. That is nothing short of a miracle for a 39-year-old lining up on a Grand Prix grid for the 382nd time, with the dolce vita always awaiting him at home, whenever he so chooses.