Marc Marquez leads Jorge Lorenzo by 43 points in the MotoGP World Championship with just three races remaining - Phillip Island on Oct. 20, Motegi on Oct. 27 and Valencia on Nov. 10.
Marquez needs to score just 33 points in the last three races - an average finish of fifth place or better - to become the first rookie to win the premier-class title since Kenny Roberts in 1978. The Spaniard can clinch the championship this weekend in Australia if he scores eight points more than Jorge Lorenzo.
So it's possible the champagne will stay on ice this weekend in Oz. But get ready to pop the corks the following weekend at Motegi, which just happens to be Honda's home track.
Marquez played the cliched "one race at a time" game with the media after finishing second at Sepang. But Lorenzo, who finished third, probably knows the race is over.
"After the Aragon race, it was very difficult," Lorenzo said of his championship chances. "Now it is close to impossible. There is some hope, but I think the more clever thing is to try to finish second this year and try to win as much as possible races."