I should be in bed right now. I am tired, but I just watched a Moto GP clip of a three lap duel between Valentino Rossi (46) and Jorge Lorenzo (99). During the duel, both riders displayed incredible skill and concentration. Lorenzo was brilliant in a conventional sense. He rode excellent lines, passed twice when opportunity presented itself, and defended his position in the last “passing” turn.
Rossi won because his greatness was unconventional. After losing the lead three laps from the finish on a long straight away, conventional thinking would have had Rossi settle in behind Lorenzo stalk his line and pick his opportunity to pass. Rossi responded immediately by getting off the brakes and moving outside of Lorenzo entering a turn. His pass so close he had to tuck his leg against his bike to clear Lorenzo without contact, then had to stick his bike in the turn so Lorenzo couldn’t simply cut under him.
Lorenzo reclaimed the lead. Rossi stalked. Conventional tactics would have Rossi make his move in the third turn from the finish, a well-known passing turn. Lorenzo knew this and made an excellent block. Rossi would not give up and made the decisive pass in a fast right hand turn that was not in a passing area.
Being pushed to the precipice of his technical skill, Rossi’s competitive instincts to win did not fail him, but more importantly his vision and mind conjured the creativity for the decisive pass. This is Greatness.