(CNN) -- Jorge Lorenzo set up a thrilling last race finale with MotoGP title leader Marc Marquez by claiming the Japanese Grand Prix Sunday at Motegi.
Defending champion Lorenzo led from start to finish on his Yamaha to relegate Marquez and his Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa to second and third places.
It has cut Marquez's lead to just 13 points ahead of the final round in Valencia in a fortnight, the first time in seven years the title will be at stake at this stage of the season.
"Until we finish racing we know the championship is not over. I'm not the leading rider so it's not all up to me, " Lorenzo told the official MotoGP website.
"I am the rider with the most victories in 2013 and that's very important." added the Spaniard, who was wrapping up his 51st career victory and seventh of the season.
Marquez, who was disqualified in the previous round in Australia for delaying a mandatory tire change, will be looking to seal the title in his debut season, but had to settle for second in Honda's home race.
"I felt I was too much on the limit and I said 'Ok, I'll take 20 points for the championship," he said.
The race was run off in dry conditions at Motegi after rain and fog had hit practice and qualifying, but Lorenzo was dominant from the start although teammate Valentino Rossi dropped back after early mistakes.
Italian legend Rossi fought back to finish sixth with Alavaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl ahead of him in fourth and fifth.
Marquez, just 20, will go into the race in Spain needing to finish fourth or better to become the youngest winner of motorcycling's premier class.
He finished just over three seconds behind Lorenzo, shaking off a nasty crash in morning practice which he blamed on a cold tire and change of track temperature.