It's unusually nice in Le Mans. Sunshine is promised for the whole weekend, even if the track is a little chilly in the morning. Warmth has been added by the news that Marc Marquez has signed to stay with Honda for two more years and that Valentino Rossi wants to stay with Yamaha for two more years.
Valentino looks like a new man. That race in Jerez has shown he has what it takes this year to race with Marc and to beat his teammate. He has a new chassis which does what he wantswhich Jorge isn't usingand he looks and sounds like the Rossi of pre-Ducati days. There have been a couple of nicely coded digs at his paddock critics. On thursday, he announced he was 'happy about my team' and the way the motorcycle was developing. I'm not sure I'd take that as a direct dig at Jerry Burgess, but I am sure it was meant to point out that he, Valentino Rossi, was right about what was needed to get him competitive again. There were a couple of smart one-liners about Marquez's new salary and his chances of winning five in a row, a feat last achieved by Rossi in '08: "Four is enough."
Joking aside, when Marc Marquez started talking about having to settle for second place sometime soon there were wistful looks on the faces of Valentino and Jorge.
A look at today's times tells you why.