There could barely have been three happier faces on the podium at Sachsenring last weekend, with Dani Pedrosa sealing his first win of the season, Jorge Lorenzo taking an unlikely lead at the top of the championship and Andrea Dovizioso also benefitting from Casey Stoner's penultimate corner crash to take his third podium of the season.
It was with typical understated joy that Dovizioso stepped onto the box for the 19th time in his MotoGP career and his brilliant ride to hold off Cal Crutchlow and beat Ben Spies to third provided a timely reminder to factory team bosses planning for the 2013 post-Stoner shake-up that he remains one of the true class acts in the field.
As Repsol Honda scaled back from three to two riders at the end of last season, Dovizioso was in some ways unfortunate to be left out of the factory reckoning, but Honda’s loss was the immediate gain of Yamaha who instantly benefitted from his vast experience and famously concise feedback from the very first test at Valencia.
In fact, a good deal of the credit for the way Yamaha have closed the gap to Honda - and perhaps even overtaken them with the 1000cc YZR-M1 – over the winter must surely be attributed to Dovizioso's input.
Now, with Spies desperately struggling for form and Lorenzo with a championship to think about, Dovizioso's contribution to the machine's ongoing development will be vital.