Silverstone's silver lining
It's 1830 BST on Sunday and I've been sat in the back of my brother's T-reg Fiesta for two hours already.
With the traffic log-jammed all the way back from the M1 to the Silverstone car park and barely enough petrol to keep the heaters going, the condensation running down the window is the only thing certain to be in motion around here for a while yet.
Through the misted glass, a trader packs up his sodden surplus stock of Cal Crutchlow t-shirts - evocative remnants of what we all hope will turn out to be the darkest chapter of a stellar MotoGP career for the talented 25-year-old.
The 2011 British Grand Prix was one to forget for Crutchlow and his fans but there were shafts of light for the bumper 72,500 home crowd, not least Bradley Smith's stunning charge from 28th on the grid to the podium in a Moto2 race that was briefly led by fellow Brit Scott Redding, who finished fifth.
Danny Kent, Taylor MacKenzie, Danny Webb and teenage wildcard John McPhee all scored points in a treacherous 125cc race, suggesting that the foundations are in place for the stunning new Silverstone circuit to eventually recreate those gloriously hazy summer days of the 1970s when Barry Sheene - Britain's last premier class winner - battled for victory with the legendary Kenny Roberts.
For a throwback to those men of steel from yesteryear, look no further than Colin Edwards. The Texan Tornado blew away the black cloud hanging over Crutchlow's Monster Tech3 garage with an incredible performance on Sunday, guiding his Yamaha YZR-M1 to third place just nine days after it threw him to the tarmac in Barcelona, smashing his collarbone into five pieces.
When Edwards woke up in hospital the following morning with 15 screws in the bone, he immediately began planning his return to action. While his valiant attempt to make the grid in Spain was thwarted by medical staff, there was no doubt in his own mind that he would be making the trip to Silverstone.
Not only did Edwards keep his appointment on track but he insisted on being first up on stage at the Day of Champions auction on Thursday, an annual event held to raise money for the life-saving work of Riders for Health, the official charity of MotoGP.
His crash-damaged leathers from the French round raised an incredible £3,300 but unsurprisingly it was Valentino Rossi who had the fans digging deepest into their pockets. One plucky punter paid £4,700 to meet the seven-time world champion and have a picture taken that would later be turned into a painting.
Grid passes raised £2,200, trackside work experience with photographer Andrew Northcott fetched a further £2,000 whilst other signed memorabilia from all the MotoGP riders and British Moto2 and 125cc stars contributed to a sensational total of £63,830 raised in just four hours.
Adding to ticket prices on the day, British MotoGP fans handed over £194,577 to Riders for Health, which will go towards creating crucial transport infrastructures that facilitate life-saving healthcare in rural Africa.
It is this earnest passion and enthusiasm for MotoGP in the UK that makes the British Grand Prix one of the most eagerly anticipated on the calendar for all of the riders, because largely they are shown such respectful admiration - barring the mindless minority that decided to boo Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo onto the stage.
The source of spite for the yellow-clad few is their unbridled loyalty to Rossi.
The obsession of these most impassioned fans is astonishing even after all these years.
As well as the mind-boggling amounts of cash handed over for his signature - Yamaha and Ducati know all about that - I met fans over the course of the weekend who had named their children after him, others who had tattooed the Italian's various logos - and even his face - onto their bodies.
It is a global phenomenon he has dealt with throughout his career but I still find it difficult to imagine how I would react to an almost intrusive level of fanaticism. When I asked Rossi about it in a revealing interview for our programme on Sunday, he just shrugged. "More than strange, it is always a great pleasure," he replied with a trademark grin.
It is exactly that ability to charm and compliment his fans that makes him so appealing to them. As an interviewer, it is, in his words, always a great pleasure to spend time in his company. Off camera, he is as personable as he is on it, invariably thanking the crew for their time and happily taking time for any autographs before departing.
Rossi fans at Silverstone. Photo: Getty
The seductive twinkle in his eye also glistens with determination. While his powers may have diminished slightly since his all-conquering pomp in the mid-2000s, there is little doubt in my mind that there are more race wins and even titles left in this most audacious of world champions.
Going back to us Brits, of course, the pressure of a home Grand Prix resonates through the paddock and into the television compound. For this race, we decided to go fully live, without any pre-recorded links - other than the opening, which we filmed at the Day of Champions auction on Thursday and out in the campsites on Saturday morning - for the first time since Century TV took over production at the start of the season.
It was a technical challenge for the crew and also for me as the main anchor, made harder by the inclement weather - and I don't just mean at Silverstone. With rain halting the tennis at Queen's an hour before we went on air, a contingency plan began to form - the network would stay with us and show the 125cc race live in full.
That decision was confirmed during the MotoGP race, so director Rohan Browning and I hastily hatched an improvised plan for the half hour between the two races that would include reaction to the main event, build-up to 125s and a tricky handover to Sue Barker at Queen's, without the technical means for me or Sue to see or hear each other.
It didn't help that I lost audio talkback, but thankfully Sue and the team down at Queen's are supremely professional and they helped make it looks seamless. By the time we wrapped up just before 1530 BST, we had been on air for 178 minutes - easily the longest MotoGP show we have ever done on the BBC.
With rain also causing delays for the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix on the other side of the Atlantic, motorsport fans were treated to a total of seven hours of live coverage on network BBC in the same day - surely an all-time record.
My brother, his girlfriend, my wife and I listened to the brilliant 5live coverage from Montreal as we filtered out of the Silverstone car park, arriving home after a four-hour drive to make it to the local pub just in time for last orders and to watch highlights of Jenson Button's brilliant win on the news.
I reflected over a hard-earned pint that, if there is one thing Sunday had confirmed, we Brits know how to make the best out of a bad situation.
And that is exactly why I know we will see Crutchlow patched up and back on his bike at Assen in two weeks' time, ready to lead our nation's two-wheeled charge for glory again.