To be back in the paddock again, at a European track, with that first warming of spring sunshine on your back, the vibrancy of all the colours of new paint jobs and the unknown of the season ahead, was just fantastic.
I have been going to motorsport events all my life, starting off by wearing a pair of massive red ear defenders while trackside at Shelsley Walsh hill climb or a clubby Silverstone, but the anticipation for this new MotoGP season seems, for me at least, to have something particularly special about it.
Valentino Rossi was given a black eye last year as Nicky Hayden knocked him out with a right hand upper cut in the final minutes of the championship when the Italian thought he was on a cruise to the Awards presentation that night.
Rossi was the first to congratulate Hayden in Valencia, but once back at the Yamaha truck, he cracked open a beer, drew a couple of gasps on someone else's cigarette and put his feet up on the table. He had lost, but his plan was to do a bit of testing, then chill out for Christmas with his mates, then jump on the plane to Malaysia in late January and work work work to get that advantage early on in the season.