Rossi right now reminds me of the fast rookie (not MM) who has the speed and racecraft, but just isn't sure he can beat his rivals. He needs a win (even under weird circumstances) to remind him he can beat these guys. Once he doe he will be close to the front and we will see a mix of the four top guys on the podium and trading wins and Cal knocking on their heals. I don't think he will win a championship if there is not a fair number of DNF or DNS for JLo, DP, and MM but he will be closer to the front if he can just win one.
My bet for his first win is Mugello though with rain this weekend or a mixed race all bets are off.
"Remember that an enduro tests the endurance of three things: your machine, your body, and your wits. Only one has to fail to keep you from reaching the finish line." Cycle World March 1966