Valentino Rossi's 2013 MotoGP title chances have changed a lot in the last two rounds.
After tangling with Alvaro Bautista on the opening lap of his home Italian race, Rossi believed his title hopes were 'completely over'.
The Italian was 56 points from the top and, most importantly, still to find a set-up to suit his riding style on the M1.
That set-up, to enhance his braking ability, was found at the post-Catalunya test and Rossi went on claim his first win of the year next time at Assen.
But the Dutch event was also memorable for fifth place by Yamaha team-mate and reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo, riding with a newly broken collarbone. Lorenzo will now miss Sunday's German race after re-damaging his shoulder in practice, while title leader Dani Pedrosa is also in doubt after suffering a small fracture to his collarbone on Saturday.
Rossi is just fifth in the championship - 51 points behind Pedrosa and 42 from Lorenzo - as the season approaches its halfway mark, but the recent events mean it's not over yet.
"I have a lot of experience, and at the start of the season I always say 'the championship is very long, be quiet', but the reality is that during the season the championship is still always longer than you expect in your mind," said Rossi, who won his seventh and most recent MotoGP title in 2009.
"I thought after Mugello it was completely over for me. But now it looks like the situation has changed a lot, because I am able to go faster and also because unfortunately Jorge and Dani have injuries, especially Jorge.
"I think that Jorge and Dani are still the fastest on the track, so we have to do another step to stay with them. But the championship is very, very long. We are not so far. We must just concentrate Sunday-by-Sunday and try to take as many points as possible."
With just one more week until the US MotoGP, Pedrosa and Lorenzo will also be less than fully fit at Laguna Seca. Indeed, Lorenzo is yet to confirm he will take part in the event while Pedrosa cannot afford another knock on his weakened collarbone.
The title favourites thus look set to surrender sizeable points to Marc Marquez (-23 points), Cal Crutchlow (-49) and Rossi over the next two races - that same trio will form Sunday's front row.
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