Having feared his Moto2 title chances were all but extinguished at Misano, Sam Lowes is determined to keep the pressure on faltering championship leaders Johann Zarco and Alex Rins.
The Englishman starts the final four rounds 40 points behind Zarco, who is just one point ahead of Rins. But Zarco has been absent from the podium for the last four rounds, while the closing Rins hasn't won a race since May.
To catch Zarco, Lowes needs to gain an average of 10 points per race over the remaining events. It's a daunting task, but at Aragon he took 17 points from Zarco and 15 from Rins.
“We were really strong in Aragon, taking pole position and victory, so we head to Motegi with a lot of confidence: I'm feeling good and I think that in Japan we can fight again for the win," Lowes said.
"It will be important to start the triple-header in a good way because the fight for the title is definitely not over, and we will keep pushing until the end: A good result at Motegi would give us even more confidence ahead of Phillip Island and Sepang, other two good tracks for us.
"Anything can happen, I feel great and I want to give everything!”.
Team boss Fausto Gresini added: “We are preparing a very important phase of the Championship: the victory at Aragon gave us momentum in the title fight, in which we are still in contention.
"It won't be easy, but Sam has proven to be in great shape so we will not leave anything to chance. The gap in terms of points is still high, so we will face every grand prix without thinking too much at the standings, but simply trying to give our best!”
Zarco, Rins and Lowes will move to MotoGP next season.