Jorge Lorenzo wasn't happy with some of the strong moves made by his team-mate Valentino Rossi, during their thrilling battle for third in the closing stages of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

Whilst many in the Yamaha pits might have preferred Rossi to give Lorenzo a little extra space, given he is firmly on course for the 2010 championship, the pair instead battled as if they were title rivals.

Although they had swapped places earlier in the race, the real action between them kicked off on the penultimate lap - when Lorenzo passed Rossi on entry to the first underpass, only for Rossi to slice back ahead of him on the exit, making possible contact.

Lorenzo then successfully lunged for the inside at a following left hander, but Rossi immediately barged back up the inside on the next right - the pair bumping fairings in the process.

Rossi guarded the entry to the underpass corner more carefully on the last lap, but Lorenzo still found a way around him soon after.

Once again, Rossi instantly responded, parking his M1 on the apex of a slow left corner in what proved to be the decisive pass.

"This was a big battle between Valentino and I, two warriors with the killer instinct," said Lorenzo.

"I have to say that at some points I do not think he was completely fair, we were both on the limit but some of his moves were maybe a bit too much and he touched me and pushed me wide when I don't think it was right.

"We are team-mates, I am fighting for the Riders' Championship but we are both fighting for the Teams' and Manufacturers' Championship as well and we have to remember this."

In an interview with MotoGP.com, Lorenzo gave stronger comments.

"The show is great for the business of motorcycle racing," Lorenzo said. "But when you are a rider and on a MotoGP bike reaching 300km/h on the straight and 180-200km/h on the corners, and you are feel the other rider touch you. It is not a good feeling. You know you are putting your life at risk.

"The three or four moves I made on Valentino I thought were correct and fair. His movements were legal but on the limit, from my point of you. I think it is the way he likes to fight - before with Gibernau and Stoner, and now with me.

"Maybe in the future his rivals will get a little bit mad and act like him."

Yamaha Racing management are said to have agreed that Rossi took too much of a risk against another Yamaha rider, especially one leading the championship.

That was also the view of Lorenzo's team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.

"It was a great battle between the two strongest riders in the world but they are team-mates and Valentino took too many risks and touched Jorge a couple of times, which should not have happened when Jorge is fighting for the championship," he said.

Although disappointed, Lorenzo can at least claim credit for not being sucked into a mistake during the heated conflict with Rossi - as others have in the past.

Fourth for Lorenzo marked his second race in a row off the podium, after finishing in the top three in the first twelve rounds. Unlike Rossi, Lorenzo raced with the older spec M1 engine and the softer front tyre.

"I am disappointed to miss the podium of course because I wanted one at Yamaha's home, but this is racing," said Lorenzo.

"We chose to ride with the old engine to be safe and then I wasn't getting the best feeling from the front tyre, so things weren't perfect for me, but anyway we took some good points."

With Lorenzo's only remaining title rival Dani Pedrosa missing the race through injury, Lorenzo needs just seven points next Sunday at Sepang to secure the title.

"We are very close to getting our dream and I really hope we can do it next weekend in Sepang," said the Spaniard.