With three crashes prior to the 28-lap San Marino Grand Prix at the Misano World Circuit, MotoGP followers were justified in expecting Marc Marquez to slide his Honda into the gravel when it mattered the most as well.
This was reinforced when fell in the warm-up as well, which was held in the rain that didn't let up in time for the race either.
Then came three big moments of Marquez losing grip in the rear tyre as he and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso tried to suss the conditions while the other Ducati of Jorge Lorenzo shot into the lead, opening up a lead of over four seconds.
During this time the satellite Pramac Ducati team's Danilo Petrucci - with nothing to lose as far as the riders' championship is concerned - slowly but surely caught up to and snuck past both Dovizioso and Marquez as the defending world champion seemed to be on the edge of falling.
But crucially Marquez held on while Lorenzo crashed out and polesitter Maverick Vinales fell a long way back to fourth.
Crutchlow went off too as did Loris Baz, by which team the riders had a spare bike ready in case their soft-wet Michelins were not up to the task of finishing a race distance. Marquez's spare Honda was set up for dry weather, something that looked highly unlikely.
About as unlikely as either Marquez or Dovizioso taking a chance and trying to pass Petrucci so as to make sure of points and stay in the championship hunt.
But that is exactly what Marquez did as he pushed Petrucci while Dovizioso fell back in a bid to stay on the podium and bag a crucial 16 points. Marquez, however, was after the maximum 25 and his moments of rear grip loss were forgotten as he pushed Petrucci into losing rear grip for a moment.
That was just the opening a rider as aggressive as Marquez needed as he went for the kill at the start of the final lap and ultimately finished almost 1.2 seconds ahead of Petrucci en route to setting the fastest lap of the race.
Meanwhile, Vinales brought his Yamaha home in fourth place, over 16 seconds behind Marquez and five behind Dovizioso. The race result puts Marquez in the lead of the championship but level on points with Dovizioso on 199 points with Vinales 16 points behind in third.
Rossi's title challenge looks increasingly spent with his deficit to Marquez being 42 points and the Yamaha rider in a race against time to get back to being fit to ride a MotoGP bike before it is mathematically impossible for him to win.
The next round of the FIM MotoGP World Championship is in two weeks time in Spain, the Aragon Grand Prix to be held at Motorland Aragon.