After his Misano mishap, Jorge Lorenzo heads into Aragon 23-points behind team-mate and MotoGP title leader Valentino Rossi.
Lorenzo became the first of the Yamaha title rivals to suffer a DNF when he crashed out shortly after switching back to slicks on the drying Italian track. The good news for the Spaniard was that he avoided injury, while Rossi could only manage a season-worst fifth place.
But the last time Lorenzo was this far from Rossi was after round three in Argentina, when he faced a 29-point deficit. Lorenzo was able to recover 28 of those points with consecutive wins over the next four rounds, and was later tied with Rossi heading into the British GP (round 12).
Then the race day rain arrived at both Silverstone and Misano, resulting in Lorenzo - quickest of the pair in the dry - conceding ground to Rossi.
“In Misano, like in Silverstone, the final standings were not as we thought they would be," said Lorenzo, in pursuit of a third MotoGP title. "It was very disappointing, especially regarding the pace we showed throughout the entire weekend, but unfortunately twice in a row we encountered some tricky situations for the race.
“From now on the fight for title will be tight, but I believe in myself and in my team as well, so we need to keep trying until the end and fight every race to catch up on points compared to Vale. He is riding well and got important points in the last few races, but I'm quite confident we can improve in the last five races so we are ready to fight.”
The Spaniard can count on a much stronger record than Rossi at Aragon, claiming four podiums - including victory last season - compared with just one rostrum for Rossi.
“This weekend we'll visit Aragón and, even if Alcañiz's track is not one of my favourites, I have good memories there since last year when we achieved a great victory, also in tricky conditions,” Lorenzo said. “I'll never give up and this weekend will be the very first opportunity of the final rounds to extend the fight for the championship.”
Both Lorenzo and Rossi took part in private Yamaha test at Aragon, prior to Misano.