When Valentino Rossi returned to Yamaha at the end of 2012, he had endured two winless seasons on a difficult-to-master Ducati. His MotoGP stock was at its lowest. He was also due to turn 34 before his next race. Only 16 riders had ever won a grand prix beyond that age, and only two a title.
He returned to a garage in which he had once won four titles in six years, but that now featured Jorge Lorenzo. A rider eight years his junior, who had beaten Rossi to the 2010 title - admittedly Rossi did miss a couple of races through injury - then won it again in '12 in his absence.
The pair's relationship was so dire by the time Rossi headed to Ducati that a wall had separated their crews on race weekends. At the same time as Yamaha cautiously welcomed Rossi home, its biggest rival Honda promoted Marc Marquez; a 125cc and Moto2 title winner, 15 years younger than Rossi.