MotoGP: Dovizioso secures Pole position and out to deny Marquez Championship victory in Japan

MotoGP: Dovizioso secures Pole position and out to deny Marquez Championship victory in Japan

A third time on pole at the Japanese venue puts the Italian in a perfect position for race day as the number 93 starts sixth

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) is doing everything he can to deny Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) the crown in the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, going fastest on Friday and following it up with pole position on Saturday – his third in the premier class at the track – as Marquez heads into the battle for his seventh title from sixth. ‘DesmoDovi’ won’t go down without a fight and the news gets even worse for Marquez on the rest of the front row, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) taking second and third respectively – two men with no Championship pressure and everything to gain.

It was a quickfire end to Q2 qualifying at Motegi and ‘DesmoDovi’ avoided the drama to perfection. That wasn’t quite true of Zarco, who put in a spectacular last ditch all-or-nothing lap and only just missed pole, but it was even less for Miller as the Australian set a stunner and then ended the session in the gravel trap. No harm done and rider ok, his earlier exploits made sure he held on to his front row – and he’s optimistic ahead of race day.

The second row also has some big contenders for Marquez to pick his way past: fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), who was on provisional pole until the last push, took fourth and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone was a man who, like Zarco, left it late to pounce but then pushed Marquez back down to sixth.

The threats could also come from behind for the reigning Champion, however. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) is in seventh and edged out Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) by less than a tenth, with the gap even smaller back to the second Movistar Yamaha of Valentino Rossi. Rossi, a former premier class winner at the venue, left it late to move through to Q2 in the morning and wasn’t able to challenge ahead of Row 3 in qualifying, with the Italian now looking for gains on Sunday.

Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) completes the top ten after he made it through Q1 – his final lap breaking Red Bull KTM Factory Racing hearts as he pushed out Bradley Smith – and three-time Motegi winner Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) had a more difficult session in P11. Home hero Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was the other graduate from Q1 and he lines up in tweflth after getting through to Q2 for the fourth time this season.

Smith was pushed down to P13, with his teammate Pol Espargaro and Alma Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci locking out the fastest fifteen on Saturday.

So the stage is set and it’s Dovizioso in the driving seat so far at the Twin Ring Motegi. Will that be true on Sunday? A win can stop Marquez taking the title but anything less would likely see the Spaniard crowned. Tune in for the all-or-nothing Motul Grand Prix of Japan at 14:00 (GMT +9)!

How Marquez could win the title at Motegi

Marquez has a big chance at the crown on Sunday but it’s not yet a done deal – especially at a track that’s such a good venue for Dovizioso and Ducati. Simply put, the number 93 is Champion if:

  • He scores points finishing ahead of Andrea Dovizioso
  • He doesn’t concede more than two points to Dovizioso and 24 to Valentino Rossi

So if Dovizioso can pull off the win, not even second would be quite enough for Marquez and the fight would roll on to Phillip Island.

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18 minutes ago


"I've beaten two legends: Rossi in Texas and Marquez today" - @Rins42

Here his reaction after his impressive last corner win yesterday! 🏆

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Good job Alex rin 42, anak bayi tidak ada apa2 nya😅😅

Good job Rins but consistency make World Champion

13 hrs ago


Which team has impressed you most so far in 2019? ... See Less

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I'm a Mercedes fan but have to say McLaren have done an amazing job this year considering their performance over the last few years.

I would say Williams for the most reliability and focused pit crew. They're only left to improve on pace.

Good to see that McLaren is performing well. I'm sure the team's ability to improve will be remarkable with every race from now on.

Must say McLaren, with the team spirit that they have, and results they managed to achieve... Definitely my favourites this season.

Williams have had the worst start to an F1 team in history. And I think with their tiny budget and willpower, the amount they’ve improved is impressive. They’re still far behind but I hope to see them fighting for podiums in 2021

McLaren. Consistent development and improvement over the season so far. Alfa Romeo has been somewhat of a surprise also.

I’m super impressed with Toro Rosso, hard to believe this is the old Minardi team where both their drivers exceeded all expectations!!

Being on top is one thing but staying at the top is the art of the game. Kudos to Mercedes for getting it right so far.... #WeMakeItLookEasy

I would say McLaren even though I'm team Hamilton

Redbull and Honda engineering. The aerodynamic has been sorted and the engine now also reliable. Watch that space, they could challenge for the title next year!

I think the fact that Kimi drags that 8th place car into the points is the most impressive

Mclaren, they have made a huge turn around this season. With andreas seidl at the helm, the only place they re going is up

Ferrari fan for life, but McLaren have done an incredible job so far, considering how far back they were

McLaren (and I'm faraway from being a fan! If there was a person I didn't like in Formula 1, that person was Ron Dennis). Anyway I'm glad to see them finally getting together again and mainly without supposed big shot drivers who can't do nothing but complain! Now they need to find a good engine because with Renault it will be near impossible to go any further...

None the sport is finished and I've followed the sport since the early 80s

And yet no Ferrari or anyone else 1st with the exception of RB. Hybrid era is killing with the beyond dominance of Merc being so far ahead of everyone else’s pace. Some competition would be nice! Don’t give me that bullshit of everyone should bring it to the table, there’s some crazy advantage behind the scene that you Merc fanboys don’t know about. Yawn.

Hi F1 and fans .... with all the media attention to the envirement and green thinking etc etc etc. Is there a research or developement posted in any magizine about the developemt of how clean the F1 is today. We all know that all top research of F1 is implemented in the modern cars but i like to read how clean F1 is now in 2019 .. 👍

the gap between top three teams and the rest is too much

McLaren is the most impressive.. Mercedes just has luck week after week.. Hoping Ferrari will get their things together for the second half..

Haas, they have surprised me on how bad they are this year. Compared to last year this year has been terrible. They were fighting Renault for top of the mid pack, this year they are fighting for points at all.

Red Bull / HONDA‼️ Young Max may be awesome, but so is the way Red Bull has adapted to Honda’s engine. The last 2 years of griping about the Renault power plant is (almost) justified...

It would be nice to see Mclaren back up there permanently fighting for the title. Always was a fan

Mclaren And Williams 0 dnf not so many points but reliability is very good

Quite a gap between 3rd and 4th also between 10th and racing cars.

Williams been sandbagging the first half of the season just to give the others a glimp of hope, beast mode on in second half of the season

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18 hrs ago


The crash 💥 The surprise 😱 The battle ⚔️

Spa treated us to a scintillating race last season ⚡️
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I can't wait for next weekend. Spa always produces some awesome action

That Vettel move was such a good sign and made so much hope for the title in 2018, but then horror began and continued until today 😞 I hope that Vettel will win at least one of the next two races, maybe the last chances this year

The circuit spa is amazing..

Leclerc was lucky with the halo there. Things could have ended very badly.. Also, the 4 car moment at the end of the first sector was amazing👌

I was there with my sons. Last years

Counting the days and hours for the arrival of the weekend. It is impressive, the spectacles provided in this SPA GP!

I remember this race.The best thing was Ocon almost overtook Vettal overtaking Hamilton. Ocon has to sit in the Mercedes at some point in the future.

What a race! Hoping for the same again next week 👍

Was that the very last time Vettel won a race? Wow an entire year has gone by.

Going to be interesting this year, couple nice long almost straights that Ferrari can hopefully lay down the power, those midrange corners that Red Bull look so comfortable going through at high speed, than the tighter sections that Mercedes just seems to find seconds on other cars, needless to say either Ferrari or Red Bull let the Mercedes go and that’s race over, but Charles or Max get in front of Lewis it’s going to be a great race

I have a feeling that the Ferraris will do it again. We will not hear the name verstappen so much this weekend.

Lets see next week if merc and redbull will match the straigth line speed of ferrari. Cant wait the qualifying and race on sunday.

Was a good race, hoping this yr will be just as good

I wanna know what LeClerc's thoughts process was as a McLaren flies over the top of him 😂

Clamoroso come Charlie Whiting aspettò che Vettel superasse Hamilton per dare il via alla Safety Car

Beyoncé would be proud of the Halo!

So the halo works。。👍🏼👍🏼

People cry about the halo but Charles had luck to have it.

What an overtake from Ferrari that was ...I missed the 2018's Ferrari ....not this SP90

This Race showed why the Halo Makes completly sense. Leclercs carrer could have Ended Right there

That's also why "even" Perez is a better racer than Ocon. My opinion. Look at the drag race after Eau Rouge coming up to Le Combes

Waited until Seb past Hamilton to safety car the race...who remembers this🤦🏾‍♂️🤔

Was there watching sat in the stadium right on that corner, exciting stuff!

Montana this is one of the most legendary F1 tracks of all time, next race is there in a week!

Only one week to go, before lights out!

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