Having seen his perfect 2010 podium record end last time out at Aragon, MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo
hopes that an engine upgrade will help him return to the podium - and fight for victory - this weekend in Japan.
Lorenzo still holds a 56-point advantage over Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa
at the top of the championship standings heading into this weekend's race, the 14th of 18 rounds, but hasn't won for the last three races.
But the Fiat Yamaha rider took one of his four wins last season at Motegi and is naturally keen to do well in Yamaha's home race.
"I'm not comfortable, but my position in the championship is good," said Lorenzo at Motegi on Thursday.
"We're not in the best shape technically; we have a little disadvantage in terms of power, but the latest evolution engine should improve things.
"I am thinking about the championship, so I must keep going fast but I must also be prudent, calculating and not doing any crazy things.
"This weekend I hope to be able to fight for the podium, and maybe even for the victory."
Lorenzo, who has won seven races this season, is yet to sign for 2011.