Jorge Lorenzo believes tyre management could be the decisive factor at Sepang as he continues to hunt down Movistar Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi in the MotoGP title fight.
The two-time MotoGP champion cut Rossi's advantage to 11 points last time out at Phillip Island after finishing runner-up to Marc Marquez, with the Italian dropping off the rostrum for just the second time all season in fourth.
Heading to Sepang with the pressure rising, Lorenzo has confirmed his targets remain the same and says if he is to claim victory in Malaysia for the first time in his MotoGP career managing the Bridgestone tyre wear will be vital.
“Phillip Island was an extremely exciting race and the results weren't too bad considering our main rival finished fourth,” Lorenzo said. “Now we face the Sepang race, a complicated racetrack because of the extremely hot temperatures and humidity. I think there the key to fight for the victory will be the tyre performance and I think we're in with a shot for the win again.
“The main goal is to cut some more points from Valentino's margin and I will try to arrive to Valencia with a smaller disadvantage. I feel strong and look forward to racing in Malaysia.”
The Spanish rider also paid tribute to Yamaha after it secured the manufacturer honours alongside the teams' title in Australia, guaranteeing itself the Triple Crown with only Rossi and Lorenzo left standing in the title race.
“I would like to congratulate all the Yamaha family after achieving the second title of the season in Australia,” he said. “I'm very proud of all the team members and the engineers who made this possible by working really hard in Japan during the whole season.”