MotoGP: Phillip Island a must-win to keep title hopes alive, says Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo, left, looks to gain ground on his teammate and championship rival Valentino Rossi at the Phillip Island Circuit in Australia. The race will be shown live on FS1 at 12:30 a.m. ET Sunday.

Rob Griffith/AP

Title contender Jorge Lorenzo says he faces an "almost impossible" task to beat superstar Valentino Rossi in the MotoGP championship if he does not win Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.

The race at the iconic Phillip Island circuit is shaping up as one of the most important of Lorenzo’s career as he bids for a third MotoGP crown.

The pressure is mounting in the tense battle between Yamaha teammates with Rossi leading by 18 points with three races remaining.

Lorenzo admits he has no choice but a full-throttle charge for a race win at the Island to reclaim the momentum.

"It will be almost impossible (to win the title) if I do not win here," Lorenzo said after qualifying third on the front row for Sunday’s 27-lap race.

"My goal is to recover as many points as possible to Valentino."

Out of 15 races so far this season, Lorenzo has won six races to Rossi’s four. He has a speed advantage while Rossi is the master tactician.

Rossi says that he needs to win at least one of the remaining three races to boost his title chances but Lorenzo knows the huge hurdle he faces.

MotoGP: Marc Marquez takes pole for Australian GP

“For sure Valentino can win not only one but also three races," Lorenzo said.

"He has the potential and the consistency in the race to be able to fight and win at least a few races. Last year he won here at Phillip Island.

"We don’t have to go very far to understand that. Obviously for him also it’s not going to be easy to win the races, for anyone. Neither for Marc Marquez, for me, for Valentino.

“Marc has a very similar pace as me.  I expect him to be fast but maybe not too much because he can also finish in front of me. It will be an interesting race.”

Honda rider Marc Marquez qualified on pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.