Marc Marquez ran off-track and dropped as low as 14th during a wet-dry German MotoGP at Sachsenring.
Yet he went on to win by almost ten-seconds and double his MotoGP title lead to a massive 48-points.
The secret of the Repsol Honda star's success was the decision to pit for slicks before any other rider, on lap 17 of 30.
Re-joining with just four riders behind him, Marquez initially made steady progress before a spectacular charge saw him lap up to seven-seconds faster than race leader Andrea Dovizioso.
Dovizioso and fellow frontrunners Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow, Hector Barbera and Jack Miller failed to appreciate the impending danger and by the time all-but-Miller pitted, on lap 23, were helpless to prevent Marquez sealing his seventh successive Sachsenring win.
“Today was another crazy race,” smiled Marquez. “Honestly in the first part of the race I chose the wrong wet front tyre. I was convinced to go with the soft, but then I saw Valentino, Jorge and Dani on the extra soft, so I changed in the last moment.
“For my riding style it was not the correct choice. I was struggling a lot with the front and I did a big mistake at the braking point for Turn 8 again. When I tried to lean the bike I felt that the front was closing, so I picked up the bike and went straight.
“I went into the gravel and I just thought 'motocross'! The traction control was stopping me, but it was full gas to try to come back on the track. I was already thinking to change the bike, but then I wait some laps more.”
Timing of the bike swaps once again proved pivotal - not to mention the added complexity of whether the second bike would be fitted with intermediate tyres, slicks or a mixture of the two.
Marquez's team removed one of those unknowns by dismissing the intermediate option before the race.
“For our team the intermediate doesn't exist. We go from wet to dry,” he explained. “Otherwise it is a big confusion and how do you tell the team 'I want intermediate, or I want slick?' So for me the slick was the correct answer.
“I [changed bikes at that time] because I was far from first position, far from the podium. I took a lot of risk because the dry line was very, very tight and two or three corners were still completely wet. But in the rest of the circuit I was pushing like normal.”
Into sixth by the time the leaders pitted, Marquez was suddenly propelled into second, slicing past Assen winner Miller soon after.
“It was crazy because I didn't know my real position. One lap I see 'P4' and then the next I see 'P1 +20 seconds'. I say, 'this is good news!' Then I just managed the lead.”
In terms of the championship Marquez's joy was compounded by a poor result for Yamaha title rivals Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. The Italian slipped to eighth after his pit stop, while Lorenzo's miserable weekend culminated in 15th position.
“My plan was try not to lose many points to Valentino, because I know that he's fast in rain conditions too. I tried to control him but then when I did the mistake I lose completely this reference. And then I just was doing my own race.
“I knew Lorenzo was behind but I didn't know where. It was a crazy race. When you have a flag-to-flag you don't understand anything. You're just riding and then eventually the positions get in the correct place.”
Reflecting on his title lead, Marquez admitted he hasn't been the quickest rider but has learned from last season and made the most of every race.
“Honestly speaking this first part of the championship maybe I wasn't the fastest rider on the track, but I was the most constant, complete opposite than last year!” Marquez added. “So, very happy and now it's time to go to the swimming pool, to beach, just relax with the friends, some party, but don't forget that the second part of the season will be tough and prepare well at home.
“When you are leading with this gap you must to be careful not to be extra confident. In 2014 I was leading with a lot of points, more than now, but I crashed two races in a row, Misano and Aragon. And I lose 50 points. So we must take care because we are just in the middle of the season. What happened in this first part of the season, in the second it can be opposite. We must manage well but of course be 48 points in front is much better than be behind.”
Marquez received a brutal reminder of how quickly things can change when he was sent bouncing through the gravel in morning warm-up.
“We did a big change compared [to the wet at] Assen and it didn't work. But I say 'one more lap' to check if the temperature of the tyre gets better. First mistake was this one. Then I just lost the rear because of this [set-up] problem.
“I slide and slide, and then I saw that I was going to the white line. It was so quick. I just touched the white line and have a kind of high side. I was lucky because I arrive in the gravel with a lot of speed and the bike was coming to me. I was very lucky to be ok after this crash.”
Crutchlow and Dovizioso joined Marquez on the podium.
Unlike most riders, Marquez and Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa (sixth) will not attend this week's private test in Austria.
By Peter McLaren