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Sports & Off The Pitch
Oct 4 2010 10:57AM
 
Lorenzo on course to win title in Malaysia
Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, who has left his rivals trailing in a phenomenal season, could claim his first Moto GP crown at the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend even with a moderate showing.
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Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, who has left his rivals trailing in a phenomenal season, could claim his first Moto GP crown at the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend even with a moderate showing.

Lorenzo has been storming towards the championship and now enjoys a comfortable points lead against his closest rival, fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, whose return to the racetrack is uncertain after a crash.

"We are very close to getting our dream and I really hope we can do it next weekend in Sepang," Lorenzo said after finishing fourth in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday at the Motegi Twin Ring circuit.

Lorenzo has amassed 297 points with four races to go, 69 ahead of second-ranked Pedrosa, who is on 228 points and the only rider with a mathematical possibility of derailing Lorenzo's march to the title.

But the Honda rider broke his collarbone during free practice in Motegi on Friday and underwent surgery in Barcelona Saturday.

Physicians have not been able to determine when Pedrosa will be able to return to the championship, which ends on November 7 in Valencia.

If Pedrosa misses the Malaysia Grand Prix, 23-year-old Lorenzo could claim the championship even with a mediocre finish.

Race organisers said that 10th place in Malaysia would be enough to give Lorenzo the season title.

"I don't race with a calculator," Lorenzo said after hearing of Pedrosa's crash, referring to his points advantage. "I race more or less at the limit. I will race the same always."

Lorenzo has consistently displayed astonishing pace and skill this year.

He scored podium finishes in all of the first 12 races, including seven victories.

In the two most recent events, in Japan and Spain, he missed the rostrum but still took fourth place. Ducati rider Casey Stoner won both races.

For Motegi, Lorenzo chose an older engine over a new one "to be safe". But the setting resulted in lowered performance from the front tyre, he said.

Nonetheless Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg said the team was content with the fourth-place finish and was focused on glory in the next race.

"Considering the front-end issues and the fact that we chose not to run the new engine we have to be very happy with these points, and now we are all just focused on Sepang and the possible championship victory there," he said.

 
-Sapa-AFP
 

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