Valentino Rossi dedicated his runner-up finish in Sunday's San Marino MotoGP to fellow Italian Marco Simoncelli.
It was Rossi's best race to date on the Ducati Desmosedici as he crossed the line only 4.4s behind race winner, title favourite and 2013 team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
Rossi had to contend with a spirited attack from Stefan Bradl, but the German rookie faded in the final third of the race, dropping down the order, as Rossi upped his pace to cement second to the delight of his passionate fans.
The sight of MotoGP legend Rossi celebrating with the crowd has been an unfamiliar one over the past two seasons, but the nine-times world champion showed he's still a force to be reckoned with as he prepares for a return to Yamaha at the end of this season.
Paying tribute to Simoncelli, Rossi said: “It was a really nice race, and I'm very happy. It's a great result, which I'd like to dedicate to Sic and his family, Paolo, Rossella, and Martina.
“I'd also like to thank all the guys who work with me and everyone at Ducati Corse who are giving their best, like me: after two difficult years, we really needed that.
“I'm very pleased because we did a dry race at a high level, always with a fast pace, and with a limited gap to Lorenzo,” added Rossi, who has clearly been boosted by a new chassis at Misano.
“We worked well. The new frame and swingarm allow us to make more changes to the geometry, and in fact here the feeling with the front was improved and the bike also seemed to be better balanced on acceleration.
“The set-up that we found was also good, as I managed to be fast and consistent for the whole race.
“It will be important to continue working well and do our best to take the Ducati as high as possible in the next races as well.”
Rossi also finished second at a wet Le Mans earlier this year, when he was 9.9s from victory. Rossi's other Ducati podium was a third place at the 2011 French GP.
Misano marked Rossi's last race on home Italian asphalt for Ducati.