Valentino Rossi says he will not be content to finish behind title adversary Jorge Lorenzo in the remaining three MotoGP races of the year, despite his points advantage.
Rossi’s bid to secure an eighth premier class crown received a major boost at Motegi last weekend, as the 36-year-old beat Lorenzo to second place behind a victorious Dani Pedrosa.
Now with an 18-point cushion over Lorenzo, Rossi could theoretically afford to finish one place behind his Yamaha teammate at each of the last three grands prix this season and still lift the title.
But despite his position, Rossi says he won’t be thinking about “making the calculation” this weekend at Phillip Island, where his goal will be to extend his lead further.
“It’s very difficult to always be second, because the two Hondas are very strong, and in three races we can have completely conditions on different types of track,” said Rossi.
“Its’s difficult to think of three races, you have to think race by race. I never do these calculations, because 99 per cent of the time it doesn’t happen.
“So I think only of Phillip Island, where my target will be to finish front of Jorge rather than making the calculation and arriving behind.”
Following Pedrosa key to beating Lorenzo
Rossi also admitted that following eventual winner Pedrosa was instrumental in being able to close on and pass Lorenzo in the latter stages at Motegi.
“When Dani arrived I was very worried because I didn’t know if he could beat Jorge,” admitted the Italian.
“Losing another nine points like Aragon would have been difficult, but following Dani gave me some good lines, some good information.
“Until that moment, [Jorge and I] started to go slower together, so I knew the only possibility to catch Jorge was to try to use Dani and I was able to arrive [in front].”