Jorge Lorenzo is hoping an updated factory Yamaha YZR-M1 motor will help catapult him close to the 2010 MotoGP world championship crown in Japan this weekend.
The 23-year-old holds a commanding 56-point lead over Spanish rival Dani Pedrosa but hasn’t won since the Brno race in the Czech Republic back in mid-August.
And the Fiat Yamaha rider was livid earlier this month when he surrendered his 100 per cent podium record at the new Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain.
Lorenzo was upset about a lack of top speed and acceleration from his YZR-M1 machine.
But Yamaha will roll out an upgraded in-line four-cylinder motor for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi.
The double 250GP world champion, who won in Japan last season, said: “I am not able to relax but I am in a great position, although we are not in the best shape technically because we have a small power disadvantage.
"Yamaha are working on this and here we have a new evolution of engine that should help me. But I think even with the same condition we've had in the last two races I can make a better result than Aragon.
"If everything is normal we can be fighting for the podium or a victory."
This weekend’s Japanese clash is the first of a flyaway triple-header with Sepang in Malaysia and Phillip Island in Australia coming in quick succession.
Lorenzo denied that he would need to be more cautious to protect his advantage with Pedrosa enjoying a brilliant run of form that has seen him finish in the top two at the previous four races.
Lorenzo added: “Obviously you think a little bit about the championship because the important thing this year is the championship and the points are important.
"In this situation I must keep going fast but also you must be prudent and calculating with less risk. I will try to be as fast as I can but also not doing any crazy things."