The Grand Prix of Japan starts a succession of three races in the space of three weeks in which Casey Stoner will attempt to safe his second premier class title, whilst Jorge Lorenzo tries to hold onto his crown.
The Grand Prix of Japan takes place this weekend as the 2011 Moto GP World Championship heads into a swift termination which will see three of the final four rounds – starting at Motegi – take place in the space of three weeks.
Taking a 44-point lead into this weekend’s 15th round is Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner, who with conquest last time out at Aragón – his eighth of the season – extended his advantage at the top over defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner won last year’s race at Motegi and a repeat of that result would put him in a place to be able to secure the 2011 title in the following round, his home race at Phillip Island.
The Australian knows that is purely imaginary at the moment however and remains fully focused on taking each race as it comes. Likewise Lorenzo knows that whilst his chances of retaining his title are now slim, there is still everything to play for. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider was fourth in last year’s Motegi race on his way to the 2010 title, but won the previous year so knows his way about the Japanese track well.
Reliability has been the cornerstone of Andrea Dovizioso’s 2011 season and is the reason for the Repsol Honda rider’s current position of third in the Championship, but the rarity of a DNF at Aragón – the first time he has failed to score points in a race this season – will have infuriated the Italian. He will be keen to put that right at a circuit at which he ended second in last year’s race.