After a competitive and injury free pre-season, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa clearly has the world championship at the forefront of his mind heading into this weekend's Qatar night race.
While team-mate and reigning champion Casey Stoner claims to take things race-by-race, Pedrosa - whose premier-class title chances have frequently been blunted by injury - is more aware than anyone that an opening round accident could mean game over as far as the 2012 title is concerned.
“I've worked very well this year, I had a good pre-season with the bike and with my physical training; I hope that luck is on my side this time, so we can have a good championship,” said the Spaniard, whose 2011 title chances effectively ended after tangling with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans.
“Qatar is important because it's the first race of the season, but you have to minimise risks. If you don't win this race you can still win the championship, but on the other side, a mistake can complicate the year.
“I'm ready. Let's see how everything goes and where everyone is”.
The 15-time MotoGP race winner, recently embroiled in minor controversy over alleged 'assistance' during a yachting license test, has finished on the Qatar podium three times in the past, but never won.