Jorge Lorenzo admits it will be difficult to overhaul his Movistar Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi to snatch second place in the MotoGP World Championship.
With only three races to go, Lorenzo is 14 points behind the Italian after both Yamaha riders fell during the race at Motegi in Japan, with race winner Marc Marquez confirmed as the champion for Honda.
Lorenzo concedes that Rossi is favourite to secure the championship runner-up spot, but says anything can happen during the final three rounds, starting this weekend at Phillip Island in Australia.
“It was a big pity to crash at Motegi because I was just five laps to fight for the podium, which would be enough to come across to second place in the championship. I tried to push a little bit more in this corner and the front was lost,” he said.
“Now it is really difficult because there are only three races left, but everything is possible, especially this year. Let's see the weather tomorrow and see how we feel on the bike.”
Lorenzo is a huge fan of the picturesque Phillip Island circuit, although he is mindful of the less than encouraging weather forecast this weekend.
“Phillip Island is amazing to ride, it is so wonderful and so fast. You can enjoy it so much on the bike, except when it is cold, windy or even raining then it is the opposite. It is quite tricky, some places are quite dangerous if you crash, so you need to be careful,” Lorenzo said.
“We have to manage and let's see if we are lucky to have a little bit better weather than we are expecting.”
The Mallorcan tipped his hat to new champion Marquez in the pre-race press conference on Thursday and said the Repsol Honda rider was fully deserving of his third premier class title.
“Especially at the beginning of the season, the Honda in contrast was not really competitive and he pushed everything 100 per-cent as a rider, to stay more in front. He did no so many mistakes during all of the season and he never crashed in the race,” Lorenzo said.
“He was the fastest and most consistent rider and he deserved the championship, so we have to applaud his season.”