Jorge Lorenzo cut team-mate Valentino Rossi's MotoGP title lead to 11 points ahead of the final two world championship rounds after a battling runner-up finish at Phillip Island in Australia.

The Movistar Yamaha rider was so close to pocketing a maximum points haul, leading on the final lap by 0.8 seconds only to be reeled in by Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo, though, will be much the happier of the factory Yamaha championship contenders after the Australia MotoGP and has piled the pressure on Rossi going into next weekend's penultimate round at Sepang in Malaysia.

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"This position is more or less what I expected before the race because I knew Marc was very strong on Friday afternoon and also yesterday in the warm-up, so I expected him to be a little bit faster than me," Lorenzo said.

"But finally in the race I could manage to push and to stay close to him but to be honest I didn't expect Andrea [Iannone] and also Valentino [Rossi] to be there.

"The rear tyre was spinning so much but the bike worked really well and we made a lot of work all weekend; especially in the morning we found something that improved the traction," he added.

"But for the opposite, in the right corners, especially in the slow corners, from the beginning of the race the front started closing and at two or three points I lose some gap with the group.

"With this amazing lap that Marc did in the last lap and with these problems, I could not keep the gap to him."

Lorenzo said it was a case of mission accomplished as he achieved his target of recovering points on Rossi, stating before the race that his title chances would be over if he did not manage to finish ahead of the Italian star.

"I think the mission of this Grand Prix is done because here, with the rear tyre spinning so much, it is always difficult to have grip on the exit of the corners so finally this result is very good," said Lorenzo.

"The set-up, with the softer tyre, we can manage to have less spinning [at Sepang] and to be really more competitive but for sure, we fly very happy from this race."