Winner of the first ever MotoGP race to feature compulsory pit stops, Jorge Lorenzo arrives at this weekend's penultimate round in Japan having more than halved Marc Marquez's title lead.

Honda rookie Marquez was black-flagged at Phillip Island for missing the pit-stop window, part of a unique race format in response to tyre misery for Bridgestone, while Lorenzo swept to victory.

That slashed Marquez's advantage from 43 to 18 points. Lorenzo, Yamaha's reigning double champion, must now keep within 25 points of Marquez to force the first MotoGP title showdown since 2006.

"It was a breath of fresh air to achieve such a great victory in Australia, but with two races still remaining it is difficult to say what's going on," said Lorenzo. "With one mistake from Marc and his team, we don't have the championship in our hands - because it's still very difficult - but we have another big chance and we have to play our cards in the best possible way.

Related Articles

"Now we concentrate on Japan. Japan is a lovely country where I feel pretty comfortable and I can feel a huge support from the fans. Motegi is also a special track for me. I won there in 2009, just my second victory in the MotoGP category. I have a lot of good memories from this circuit and I hope we can be more competitive than in the recent years.

"Motegi is a different track in terms of riding. It is one of the few 'stop and go' tracks so it is important to have a good braking and also a great acceleration. In this subject we improved a lot compared to last year and even more with the new seamless gearbox so hopefully we will be stronger than in 2012.

"But it is true that we don't brake as well as the Honda, especially the hard braking and downshifting many gears. The problem is biggest in hot conditions and here I don't think it will be hot and also here we will use the [bigger] more powerful brakes - that I would like to use at all tracks for safety.

The Spaniard, second to Dani Pedrosa at Motegi last season, added: "We have nothing to lose so we can risk a bit more than last year."

Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg feels the 2013 championship is now 'open', with predicted bad weather throwing another variable into the equation.

"I'm pretty curious to see how our package works here in Motegi because of course the championship is back open after the thrilling Sunday at Phillip Island," said the Dutchman. "Motegi is a track Jorge likes and hopefully the weather is stable despite the initial forecast announcing a typhoon coming. Anyway let's see what is going on and try to do our best to fight again for the victory."

Meanwhile, Yamaha are reported to have asked for the incident between Lorenzo and Marquez - who made contact in Australia as Marquez rejoined the circuit following his late pit stop - to be examined by Race Direction...