350 Grand Prix starts, 187 podia in MotoGP. Rossi second in Argentina
There is a delicious irony in seeing Jorge Lorenzo's arrival at Ducati going from bad to worse: he capitalised on and ridiculed Rossi's dalliance with the Italian team joining it only after all the hard work had been done, or so it seemed. But a dismal qualifying and a failure to get round the first corner (which in typical style Lorenzo sought to blame someone else for) coupled with Rossi's average qualifying and scintillating race performance shows that karma is often right.
What can we say about Valentino Rossi?
He joined the Grand Prix circus in 1996 and aside from the Ducati years, he's barely been away from the podium since, regardless of what he rides. In the 2016 Argeninian Grand Prix, Rossi wasn't the star: that went to his new team mate, 15 years younger, Maverick Vignales, fresh from Moto2. Cal Crutchlow, jokingly called Crashlow by some, capitalised on his qualifying P3 place to hold onto P3 behind Vignales and Márquez who, shot off the line, built up a 1.8 second lead then watched as the front wheel slipped away causing a crash that destroyed the front of his bike.
Rossi, up from P7 to fourth within a couple of corners, simply sat behind Crutchlow, watched Márquez slither out and bided his time until Crutchlow's front end started to weaken, then pounced to take second but he had to fight to keep that until, with two laps to go, Crutchlow faded. Rossi was, eventually, a clear winner but, once more, the crowd worshipped only one man.
360 grand prix starts and 187 podia in the top class. 225 top three in total. Rossi is motor racing's true star of the modern age.