Marquez closes in on MotoGP championship

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Marquez closes in on MotoGP championship

MELBOURNE - Jorge Lorenzo has refused to concede his MotoGP crown to rookie sensation Marc Marquez at Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.

A victory for Marquez at Phillip Island combined with anything worse than second place for fellow Spaniard Lorenzo will hand the 20-year-old the world title with two races to spare.

“I don’t have anything to lose, I have to try and win every race to the end of the season,” Yamaha rider Lorenzo said.

“But the title is not over because Marc is still not the world champion, although it is close to impossible because of the points and unless I win this race.

“But I have always been quite fast at Phillip Island, although I have never won the MotoGP race there, so maybe this can be the first time.”

Lorenzo sealed his second world championship last year at the seaside circuit with a watchful runner-up finish behind Casey Stoner, who collected a record sixth consecutive win at Phillip Island before retiring at season’s end.

The 26-year-old Mallorcan also has painful memories of the circuit, however, having mangled a finger at morning practice in 2011 and crashed at the first turn in 2009.

Lorenzo was rushed to nearby Melbourne for surgery after losing the tip of his finger in a crash at the circuit’s turn 12, but has lost no love for the curve that sweeps into the final straight.

“It goes up and down and if you have the right line you can slide on throttle in fourth gear for a long way at more than 200 kilometers [124 miles] per hour,” he said.

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