Jorge Lorenzo says he’s not worried that the return of Casey Stoner to MotoGP action in Japan this weekend could damage his hopes of securing a second premier class world title in 2012.
After missing the last three races with the serious ankle injury he picked up in Indianapolis, Stoner is back on his factory RC213V at the Twin Ring Motegi.
Many expect his return to add some spice to the title run-in, with Lorenzo currently holding a 33-point lead over compatriot Dani Pedrosa with just four races remaining.
Stoner confirmed today in Japan that the subject of team orders to help Pedrosa had not even been mentioned by HRC and Lorenzo said he wasn’t worried by the impact the Australian’s return might have.
The factory Yamaha rider said: “This is a thing that I can’t control. If Casey is fast enough I think he can win and take points from Dani and me. The only thing I can control is my own performance.”
Lorenzo remains an overwhelming favourite to capture the world title and in the 13 races he’s finished so far this season, he has not yet finished lower than second.
And he has vowed not to throw caution to the wind and push for a win at all costs, instead taking a podium finish to protect his healthy advantage in the standings.
Lorenzo added: “These races are very important for the championship and our goal is to stay the same way that we have made the rest of the season and always trying to fight for the podium and the victory.
"This is my goal and if it is possible to win the race I will try and if it is not possible then one podium will be ok in all four races. You can never have the best bike possible and you are not competing alone.
"The opposition is working hard and at this moment it is difficult to fight for the win. But also we can do it and we are not so bad and it is possible to win races. My goal is to win some races from now to the end of the season.
"Sometimes it is not possible, so the best way is like before and it is better to finish second than crashing.”