Jorge Lorenzo is blaming bad luck for preventing him from piling more pressure on Valentino Rossi in the MotoGP World Championship.

Lorenzo is now 18 points behind his Movistar Yamaha team-mate after losing four more points in the title race in the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi, where the 28-year-old finished third behind Dani Pedrosa and Rossi after leading for much of the race.

The two-time premier class champion was out in front until he encountered front tyre problems on the drying track, falling into the clutches of Pedrosa and Rossi in the closing stages.

Lorenzo says the outcome was indicative of his misfortune this season and feels bad luck is working against him.

"In Qatar, I had the problem of the helmet and in some other races I was the fastest in the dry and it rains, so I couldn't take profit of my speed to get 25 points in two, three or four races," Lorenzo said.

"Today, I was the fastest one in the dry and in the wet, but it dries up after a wet beginning and I couldn't win the race I believed I could have won.

"So yes, I believe at this moment of the championship especially but in general, I am the fastest one this year because [of] the bike, my speed, my concentration. But these are the circumstances at this moment and maybe it will change in the next rounds."

Asked for his thoughts on the reason for the degradation of his front Bridgestone tyre, Lorenzo said: "As Valentino say, it can be the setting, the riding or the push I made at the beginning of the race - I don't know."

Lorenzo rode with the winglets on the front of his YZR-M1 at Motegi in contrast to Rossi, who opted to race without them, but brushed off a question over why he made the decision for the race after riding without them in practice and qualifying.

"I used them in the qualifying in Misano and then Valentino uses in the race, then I use them in the warm-up and race of here, so next time it's Vale's turn," Lorenzo said.

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