Jorge Lorenzo may have openly expressed concern at the gap to Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi in Qatar, but the Spaniard still feels his podium finish was 'a huge beginning' - which he aims to build further on this weekend in Japan.

The Fiat Yamaha rider, who took pole on his Motegi premier-class debut last September, is aiming to run closer to the front during his second race on Bridgestone tyres.

"This is my second year with Yamaha in MotoGP and the second time going to our home! I feel very motivated about racing in Japan," said Lorenzo.

"Qatar was a huge beginning for us although I couldn't keep the same pace as Valentino and Casey. I will try to be much closer to them in Motegi; that is the main aim for this race.

"Last year I took my last pole position of 2008, but in the race I was fourth after a nice battle with Pedrosa, fighting until the last lap. I hope that this year I will be fighting right at the front."

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