If Casey Stoner is to retire as a triple MotoGP champion at the end of 2012, he will need to overturn a 32-point deficit to Jorge Lorenzo during the final eight rounds.
Repsol Honda star Stoner had been level with Lorenzo at the head of the standings after the Yamaha rider was taken down at Assen, round seven.
But a last lap fall for Stoner, while battling team-mate Dani Pedrosa for victory next time at Sachsenring, followed by an off-track excursion on his way to eighth at Mugello left the Australian 37-points from the top.
Stoner then scored his fourth victory of the season at Laguna Seca last Sunday, but with Lorenzo finishing runner-up the Spaniard's advantage over Stoner was reduced just by five points.
Single race winner Pedrosa remains in second place, 23-points from Lorenzo.
Reflecting on the title situation, reigning champion Stoner said: “I need to do more than just chip away at [Lorenzo's lead]. Especially with these guys [Lorenzo and Pedrosa]. You're not just going to keep winning every week. It's bloody hard work against these guys. We're going to have to do something a little bit extra.
“The mistake at Sachsenring really cost us, but at the same time it basically just gave back the points we gained from Jorge in his unfortunate accident at Assen,” he added. “My biggest mistake was in Mugello. That lost us our main chunk of points and that is the one I'm most disappointed in.”
The MotoGP summer break will end with round eleven of 18 at Indianapolis from August 17-19.