Before this season got underway, this writer considered Valentino Rossi to be like Deep Purple's Ian Gillan. A legend, no question about that. But a shade of his former glory. Still a star name, but not able to hit that soaring scream in 'Child In Time'.
And there was some justification for that. Rossi went from scoring six podiums in the opening half of the 2018 season on the Yamaha to just two in the same time period last year. And the 2017 Dutch TT still remains his last win.
In the last 10 races of 2019, Rossi was either fourth or eighth, and this ultimately netted him seventh in the standings - or to put it into context, third-best Yamaha and his worst championship position since that miserable first season on the Ducati in 2011 when he scored just one podium.