Marco Melandri’s brilliant second on the unfancied Hayate (a re-branded factory Kawasaki ZX-RR) in a rain-hit Le Mans clash struck a blow for the underdog, as did Dovizioso’s maiden win at Donington in perilous conditions.
Lorenzo crashed on the sighting lap in Mugello and composed himself to claim a superb second in a gripping flag-to-flag encounter.
But Rossi’s awesome Catalunya performance wins this category hands down. It was the audacity of his last corner attack on Lorenzo that shocked most, particularly a flabbergasted Lorenzo. Catalunya’s final corner is not renowned for overtaking yet Rossi’s clinical move required bravery, precision, audacity and all of the 30-year-old’s riding skill to fire his season back into life.
Rossi seemed even shocked himself that he’d made a complicated overtake fraught with risk look effortless.
“I am so happy about the overtake. This is a very difficult place to overtake and I
didn't know if it was possible. It was great because I didn’t touch Lorenzo, I stayed on the line and I turned, so it was something unbelievable and to win I needed to produce something extra special like that.
"I had about 35 centimetres to put the bike in at high speed and stay on line. It was a great, great emotion.”