After the blow of losing a further four points to Valentino Rossi at Motegi, Jorge Lorenzo has three races in which to overturn his team-mate's 18-point MotoGP title advantage.

"This year a lot of things have happened but obviously now it comes to the final three races in the championship and we must win a lot of races if we want to recover the points and have the chance in Valencia to be world champion," Lorenzo said at Phillip Island, Australia on Thursday.

"This is the goal, but we are just focused on working in the same way on the bike, on the setting and on my riding. And if we keep working like that we are going to be fast and consistent. This is our objective from tomorrow."

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Lorenzo rubbished speculation about his wet weather ability by passing Rossi for the lead at turn two in Japan and quickly building a three-second lead.

But as the track began to dry the Yamaha riders began to struggle with front tyre wear. Both were passed by Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who took his first win of the season, while Lorenzo lost second to Rossi after running wide with five laps to go.

Commenting on the changeable race day weather this season, Lorenzo said: "It's true that in probably three races there was no rain until the race, but this is the past and I don't want to think too much about it. We have to think just about the future and now we are waiting for three nice races, hopefully with good weather, good tracks and a good feeling on the bike."

It was certainly dry and sunny at Phillip Island on Thursday, although colder weather is forecast from Friday with some reports suggesting rain on Saturday.

But if it stays dry, there is no place Lorenzo would rather be.

"This is probably the most wonderful track in the calendar," he said. "Not only the track, I always say the place is wonderful. It's wonderful to race here in sunny conditions and I there is no rain or wind it's the perfect place to race. Go full throttle, slide in the fast corners and just enjoy everything."

Lorenzo has won six races this season, compared with four for Rossi.

With five points difference between first and second place, even if Lorenzo wins all three remaining races, he also needs Rossi to be lower than second in at least one round to be crowned MotoGP champion for a third time.