Having seen his title lead cut to just 13 point over Dani Pedrosa, this weekend's San Marino MotoGP could be a crucial event for Jorge Lorenzo.
The Yamaha star has an excellent record at the Misano circuit, winning last year and finishing second in his three previous premier-class starts.
It is thus the perfect place to rebuild some of his points advantage, after victories for Honda rider Pedrosa in the last two rounds - including a last turn win over Lorenzo at Brno.
“We arrive at Misano now which is a track I like very much, we had a great victory here last year and many podium finishes,” said Lorenzo.
“We are still leading the Championship so we must work hard this weekend to keep it and if possible to increase it. We will aim for the podium and if it is possible, the victory.”
Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg naturally hopes Lorenzo can regain some of his lost advantage, and expects another close race, but also warned that they must stay calm.
Any mistakes at this stage could prove especially costly for either Lorenzo or Pedrosa.
“After a very exciting Brno race we want to try to increase the point lead. I think it will be exciting again this weekend so we need to try to win but stay calm,” he said.
Misano is the first of six remaining rounds. First free practice takes place on Friday morning.