Jorge Lorenzo intends to wrap up the MotoGP world title at Phillip Island on Sunday by finishing ahead of chief rival Dani Pedrosa.
Lorenzo was third fastest on his factory Yamaha during opening free practice at Phillip Island in Australia and although the championship favourite admits home hero Casey Stoner is “on a different level” at the spectacular seaside track, he believes he has the pace to outrun Pedrosa.
The 2010 world champion is just 0.121s behind Pedrosa as he bids to finish in front of the Repsol Honda rider for the first time both riders have completed a race since Laguna Seca.
“It's been really tough so far today, the conditions are quite difficult,” said Lorenzo, who completed his best lap in 1m 31.005s.
“It's been really windy which makes it very uncomfortable to ride.
“We are going to try and stay with Dani here and also Casey but he is very fast, he's on another level at this track,” he added.
“I think we are close to Dani so our goal is to try and beat him.
“We're going to try and make the bike more stable tomorrow to keep the wheels on the ground and make it more comfortable in the wind.”
Lorenzo has a 23-point advantage over Pedrosa and will be champion if he is at least 26 points ahead after Sunday's race.
That means Lorenzo can finish just one place ahead of Pedrosa, as long as he is on the podium. Lorenzo has finished no lower than second in the races he has completed this year.