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Dovizioso takes pole position for Japan MotoGP

Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) on Saturday sent a message he would not give away the 2018 MotoGP title without a fight, as he clinched the pole position for the Japan Grand Prix, complicating the mission of his Spanish rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) who could secure his fifth crown should he win at Motegi’s Twin Ring.

Dovizioso posted a time of one minute, 44.590 seconds to earn his second pole position of the season, and is set to kick off Sunday’s race from the first row, alongside France’s Johann Zarco (Yamaha) and Austria’s Jack Miller (Ducati) who came second and third respectively.

Marquez, who leads Dovizioso by 77 points in the 2018 standings, had mixed fortunes as he set the pace in the fourth free practice, but he crashed later for the 18th time this season, reports Efe news agency.

Although Maquez did not sustain any injures following the crash, the mechanics were unable to repair his motorcycle in time for the second qualifying round and he had to settle for the sixth spot, 0.299s off the pace.

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