MotoGP championship leader Jorge Lorenzo believes his title battle with Dani Pedrosa could bring a new audience to the sport.
The two Spaniards are 13 points apart two thirds of the way through the 2012 campaign. The last time a premier class championship fight was so close at this stage of the season was when Mick Doohan, Max Biaggi and Alex Criville fought for the title in 1998.
Lorenzo has not won since the Mugello round in July, and has seen Pedrosa close in on him with victories at Indianapolis and Brno.
The Yamaha rider admitted he would rather be dominating as he did on the way to his maiden MotoGP crown in 2010, but thinks the close fight is a big opportunity for the championship.
"I would like to have more of an advantage in points and to be calmer at this stage in the championshp, but for several reasons it's not like that," said Lorenzo.
"In one way it's a little bit negative [for me], but on the other hand I think it's positive because a strong championship and a fight between two Spaniards is positive for the sport.
"I think we have to take this opportunity to make motorcycle sport bigger in Spain and maybe also around the world."
Lorenzo is confident that Yamaha will be more competitive at Misano this weekend, even though the full update package it recently tested will not be introduced until he switches to the last engine of his 2012 allocation.
"We found something in Brno that will give us a little more speed," he said.
"But for the moment we cannot use the last engine so we will have the same specification and bike as in Brno.
"But I think we are faster anyway and can fight for the win, and for the next race at home maybe we will have something extra and a better bike."
- Jorge Lorenzo
- Dani Pedrosa