For the second year running, British fans basked in late summer sunshine and saw Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo fight to the flag. It took a typically audacious Marquez move two laps from the flag to settle the issue,and yes he was thinking about the defeat here last year. Given the move he made, he was thinking about it a lot.
Both factory Yamahas improved massively over the weekend and Valentino Rossi was third, albeit seven seconds behind his team mate. It felt a bit like normal service was being resumed, the pattern from last season re-established. That means Lorenzo riding at 100 percent but with his astonishingly metronomic precision and just failing to beat Marquez. Last year, Pedrosa would have been third with Rossi a little way back just ahead of the satellite bikes and the occasional Ducati. This year, Vale's second back on the Yamaha, he's brought all his experience to bear (he set a new record of 246 Grand Prix starts on Sunday) and is rattling up the rostrums without often getting in range of Marquez.
Pedrosa seems to have rediscovered inconsistency while Jorge has somehow managed to get over his nightmare start to the season. While his championship chances are long gone, Jorge is still willing to put it all on the line for the chance of a win. The next few tracks won't exactly help him, but I'm not betting against a win in the near future.
The real change from last year is in the performance of the Ducati. Don't just look at their finishing positions, look at the gap to the winner. Last year Andrea Dovizioso crashed - a rare event - and the first Ducati home was Nicky Hayden thirty-six seconds behind Lorenzo. This year, Dovi was under ten behind Marc. That is progress.
As was Scott Redding's tenth place in front of two Ducatis.
Last year Scott won and this year he was under nearly as much pressure from the financial and political issues surrounding his future. His Gresini team is having trouble raising the cash needed to keep running Hondas and seems likely to run Aprilias next year. Will his old team, Marc VdS, be able to secure the extra budget and the grid slots for next year?
Watch this space.