Reigning six-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has finished day two of Wales Rally GB in 15th position, an impressive nine places higher than his ranking at the end of day one.
Rossi, driving a Stobart-run Ford Focus WRC car, began the day by posting the 20th, 17th and 16th fastest times on the opening three stages - moving him quickly up from 24th on Friday to 16th in the overall standings.
The Italian explained that he found Saturday's longer stages much more suited to his driving style and was able to get into a good rhythm. Crucially in such a punishing event, Rossi also made no mistakes - this morning at least.
"The first stage felt really good for me. There was some frost but less ice than yesterday," said Rossi, driving alongside Carlo Cassina. "The other two stages were more loose with some rocks and gravel but I'm enjoying it much more today and we have a good rhythm with the car."
Those same three stages - Resolfen, Halfway and Crychan - were then repeated in the afternoon.
"We go a lot faster than the first time," said Rossi after holding his 16th overall during the second Resolfen run. "We are happy - this stage is fantastic! We try to get a good speed and I am getting a good feeling with the car."
However, the following Halfway and Crychan stages proved much more 'eventful'.
"I don't like that stage at all - I'm glad it's over," admitted Rossi after his second run through Halfway, when he set the 20th fastest stage time. "I got stuck behind car 23 and held up."
That hold-up meant that, for the first time, Rossi dropped a position in the standings, but he was able to regain 16th overall through Crychan - despite an accident.
"It is so slippy and a lot of ice. We went too fast into a corner and overshot it which smashed the front of the car and cracked the windscreen but it is OK," explained The Doctor, who crashed out of the 2002 edition of Rally GB on the very first forest stage.
Having survived the final proper stage of the second day, Rossi then settled his nerves with a best yet 12th place during the short Cardiff 'super special', held inside the Millennium Stadium. The result helped move Rossi up to 15th position at the end of day two.