Casey Stoner has vowed to keep attacking at Motegi this weekend, despite extending his MotoGP points advantage over Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo following his eighth win of the season at Aragon.
Stoner's current 44-point advantage means he could win the title by finishing third in the remaining four races, even if Lorenzo won every time. Stoner said, however, that he would continue to attack and would be looking for the win rather than championship points, particularly given his excellent form at Motegi last year, when he won for Ducati.
"As in Aragon, we will be going out there trying to win and not only looking for valuable Championship points," Stoner insisted. "We had a fantastic race here last year, probably one of my best in my opinion and it will be fun to go there on the Honda and see how the bike works around the circuit.
"Motegi is quite a different circuit, a little like a kart track, but in general it's nice and more fun than some of the other circuits we visit. It has a lot of hard breaking, a lot of hard accelerating, it's pretty tough on the body and physically demanding. If you miss your breaking points, it's easy to run wide so it will be important to get the setup on the bike just right."
While Lorenzo will be hoping to disrupt Stoner's winning ambitions, the Australian could also find himself challenged from within the official Honda team. Andrea Dovizioso took his first and to date only MotoGP pole at the circuit last year, while Dani Pedrosa arrives in Japan on the back of three consecutive second places.
"We go to Japan focused on returning to the podium, this has to be our target," Dovizioso said. "We will arrive at the Japanese GP this year in the same position we were last year – straight from a crash and zero points, but I'm determined to transform this disappointment with extra motivation.
"Last season we had a great race and we almost won, so I'm confident to repeat a great performance at Motegi, a circuit that I like and where I have been on the podium in all the three classes."
Pedrosa, who broke his collarbone in Friday practice at Motegi last year, said: "Obviously, last year I had a hard time there due to my injury, but I want to focus on my riding and enjoy the GP.
"We've been at a good level, with three second places in a row and I am looking forward to this race. I have won at this track in 125 and 250, but not yet in MotoGP, so that's a big motivation for me."