An emotional Catalunya MotoGP weekend ended with Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez shaking hands for the first time since 2015.
Once friends, the pair's relationship went into meltdown over claims by Rossi that Marquez was trying to help Jorge Lorenzo win last year's title. The bitterness escalated during an on-track clash at Sepang and subsequent title defeat for Rossi at Valencia.
Rossi has barely made eye-contact with Marquez since, but Luis Salom's tragic death helped bring a sense of perspective and a handshake took place in parc ferme moments after the Italian's thrilling victory over the Honda rider.
“When these things [Salom's accident] happen, all the rest becomes not very important. Very small,” Rossi said. “So I think [the handshake] was the right thing to do.
“This is a great sport. Our passion. But is also dangerous. So I think that a normal behaviour, a normal feeling, with the other riders is helpful.”
Marquez commented: “It was a really difficult and sad weekend for MotoGP. But in the end, on Sunday, I like that it was the atmosphere of a MotoGP family again. When we were together on the grid [for the minute's silence] and the way all the riders dedicated their race to Luis.
“In the grandstands everybody was supporting all the riders. Full of respect, because we are taking a lot of risks. Another thing that for me was important was to shake hands again with Valentino. I'm happy about this.”
Asked if this race can improve their relationship, Rossi confirmed “yes”.
“Okay” smiled Marquez, putting his hand briefly on Rossi's shoulder while the media gave a round of applause.
But the relationship between Rossi and Lorenzo may take a little longer to thaw.
While Marquez and Rossi haven't clashed since last season, the Yamaha team-mates have exchanged some harsh words on a variety of subjects since round one in Qatar.
“Good question!” smiled Rossi, when asked if would also try to improve the relationship with Lorenzo. “Sincerely the situation with Lorenzo is a little bit different. I mean, what I can say is that at the beginning of the season I don't think to not have any more relationship with him, or not speak with him, or not say 'ciao'.
“But since I came back to Yamaha it was always me to go to Jorge, to say 'ciao Jorge, it's ok? How are you?' So I think this year I wait for him to come. But it never happen, and so you have to speak also with him!”
Pressed on whether he will attend Safety Commission meetings in future, having been absent from the rider gatherings since Sepang last year, Rossi replied that he 'will try'