With his title chances having grown from 'impossible' to 'difficult' after victory at Indianapolis, Jorge Lorenzo is preparing for a backlash from team-mate and title leader Valentino Rossi in the reigning champion's local race at Misano this weekend.
Rossi crashed out of the Indianapolis round just one lap after losing the lead to Lorenzo, who had himself crashed out of the lead at the previous two races.
All of which means that Lorenzo's third victory of the season has halved Rossi's points lead to 25 (one race win), with five rounds and 125 points still to be decided.
Last year, Lorenzo finished second behind Rossi as a MotoGP rookie at Misano - which is just 15km from Rossi's home town of Tavullia.
“Misano is one of the tracks where I was very fast in the past, so I'm really looking forward to going there in such good shape. I won in 2007, the first year we went there, on my 250cc bike and last year I was not far behind Valentino in second,” confirmed the Spanish star.
“I am very happy that I have cut the championship lead by 25 points in just one race, but I know that the title is still very difficult. My first aim is to keep enjoying riding my bike and try to do the best I can.
“I hope we can be as good as last year or even better, even though I know how hard it will be at Valentino's 'house'! I hope everyone there gets to see a big battle!” added the Fiat Yamaha rider.
“The championship is still very difficult but we will try, if possible, to keep recovering points and to stay in a position to challenge,” stated Lorenzo's team manager Daniele Romagnoli. “Now the excitement is starting to build towards the season finale and I think everyone will enjoy the fight to the end!”
Lorenzo finished ahead of Rossi in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, won by Ducati's Casey Stoner, but Rossi has won both of the Spaniard rounds held so far this year.