Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi says he is not thinking about how many points he needs to secure an eighth MotoGP title.
The Italian extended his lead over teammate Jorge Lorenzo to 18 points with a second place finish, behind Honda's Dani Pedrosa at Motegi on Sunday, and will claim the championship if he finishes second in each of the three remaining grands prix.
However, Rossi says he is not interested in thinking about what he needs to secure the title and wants to take it one race at a time.
"It's quite impossible," he explained about planning results ahead of the final three races. "It's very difficult that from now to the end, we arrive always first and second, because the two Hondas are very strong.
"In three races, we will have completely different conditions, three different types of tracks, so I never do these types of calculation – 99 per cent of the time, it doesn't happen.
"We need to concentrate on Phillip Island and try to arrive in front of Jorge. This is the target, rather than making the calculation to arrive behind."
The 36-year-old admitted he was concerned when Pedrosa overtook him for second place when Lorenzo was still leading the race in Japan.
"In one moment, the race changed a lot," he said. "The conditions were drying up and it's a lot better with full wet than with the dry line because the wet tyres become very difficult, too soft.
"When Dani arrived I was very worried, because I knew he would beat me, but I didn't know if he would get to Jorge, so losing another nine points like in Aragon would be difficult for the championship.
"So I tried to go with Dani, he had very good pace. I was able to do three or four laps very strong, arrive to Jorge and in that moment we had some problems with the tyres.
"We were very much at the limit, so taking these 20 points is so important for the championship and a four-point more advantage is good," he concluded.