The Australian had a go at Sugo, Japan, but was twice taken out on the start, by the same rider! Bad luck, for sure. In Italy, nobody really expected him to contend, what with being on a differently tuned bike and running on Michelin tires that he'd never really raced with before (V&H was running Dunlop). But there he was, a revelation, consistently amazing on the brakes while running with the leaders in qualifying and both races. In fact, he even took the lead in race two with serious style, passing four of the best factory riders in the world while braking for one of the chicanes. It was amazing to see, the kind of riding that seems divinely inspired and surely the work of a two-wheeled god who is utterly unapproachable.