Jorge Lorenzo says Sunday's weather conditions could rule out the prospect of a much-anticipated head-to-head with Valentino Rossi in the Japanese MotoGP.

The Movistar Yamaha riders dominated final qualifying to head up the front row, while Rossi made sound progress in FP4 with his race pace to raise the prospect of a mouth-watering clash between the title rivals.

However, with rain in the forecast for race day, Lorenzo is adopting a wait and see stance as he prepares to try and reduce Rossi's 14-point advantage at the top of the championship.

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"It depends a lot on the weather conditions; if it rains then the time [from qualifying] is a little bit secondary because everyone has his own pace and the race will be very long," said Lorenzo, who lost vital ground in the title race when rain hit at Silverstone and Misano.

"If it's dry, for sure what happened today in FP4 and qualifying helps him to stay closer, but I believe we have our pace, so we hope to make it in the race too."

Rossi, a winner in the wet at Silverstone, said it would be a 'shame' if wet weather ruined the chance of a title duel between the pair.

"On paper if the race is now our performance is very good, but it depends what happens from now to tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow can have a different situation; first of all, if it rains - the forecast is quite bad - tomorrow morning everybody has to start from zero and it will be a great shame," said the nine-times world champion.

"But also if it is dry, you never know; for sure Jorge is always fast with a good pace from the first practice and it looks like he is a bit stronger, but we can try to stay close."