Few more so than three blinding laps in the Donington deluge. After running wide and losing 2.5 seconds to lie fourth, he re-caught veterans Barros and Roberts, played for a while, then pulled away - gaining 1.6 seconds one lap, 2.5 the next, and 3.3 next time round, to lead by more than seven seconds. Quite astonishing.
It's not as though he can't do anything wrong. Some of his slip-and-saves in the puddles were way beyond the 'you-make-your-own-luck' variety. If it wasn't pure good fortune that set him back on the seat then it was divine intervention.
So we keep seeing the mark of a genius. It continues to be compelling and hard not to share his joy, every time he wins.Rossi passed some significant landmarks before the summer break, in a year that he is running away with. He has clocked up 150 GPs, and at the last one caught up with Mike Hailwood, on 76 wins in all classes. The next target is Mick Doohan's 54 premier class wins. If Rossi wins five more races this year, out of seven remaining, he will have taken six years to equal what Mick did in 11.
I was lucky enough to see Hailwood ride, both in his heyday and on his return, and to watch Doohan's magnificent career. Like Rossi, Doohan would lay the same sort of humiliation on his rivals with the same margin of superiority, race after race. And people said it was boring. I would point out how watching his supreme skill was in itself rewarding. Especially after his fighting comeback from near-crippling leg injuries. But even Mick chimed in, with a famous interview, when he agreed: "Racing is as boring as shit right now."Nobody's used the B-word about Rossi yet, so what's the difference? It's this: Mick enjoyed winning, but it was a brutal and austere business, as much about crushing the competition as revelling in his gifts. If he enjoyed himself, he seldom let it show.
Valentino enjoys crushing them too. Anybody who is fooled by his boyish charm should just watch him belittle Gibernau at every opportunity. Vale also conspicuously enjoys riding motorcycles. He's having fun out there, and it shows. It was the same with Hailwood. Look at how many photos of Hailwood and Rossi show them laughing.Vale's serial domination will only become dull when he stops laughing about it.
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