Motegi, October 20: Andrea Dovizioso is prepared for another duel with Marc Marquez in Japan and expects the Spaniard to go all out from sixth on the grid in his bid to seal a fifth MotoGP title.
Dovizioso gave himself a great chance of preventing Marquez from being crowned champion yet again this weekend by taking pole in Motegi on Saturday (October 20).
Marquez will be guaranteed another title if he wins a third consecutive race on Sunday (October 21) and can also wrap it up without a victory depending on where Dovizioso finishes.
The Honda rider will start on the second row, having been quickest in the final practice session after crashing at Turn 9.
Dovizioso expects the championship leader to get off to a flyer and would not be surprised to be engaged in another battle after they were involved in a dramatic final-lap tussle in Thailand last time out.
There's no doubt @AndreaDovizioso was fast on his way to his third #JapaneseGP pole position, but could he have lapped the Twin Ring Motegi any quicker? 🤔— MotoGP™🇯🇵🏁 (@MotoGP) October 20, 2018
Luckily for you we have the @Michelin_Sport Ideal Lap to tell us just that! pic.twitter.com/Gi4vE8sFO3
Asked about the possibility of a duel with Marquez, the Ducati rider said: "For sure he will try, it's normal. He's able to take a risk, like in the last three races.
"Unfortunately, the last four races we were fighting a lot, but we didn't think about the championship.
"We just fight to win and it will be the same tomorrow. It will not change the fight for the championship and his approach I think will be strong, like always, and he will be in the top three positions after the first lap for sure."
Johann Zarco was second behind Dovizioso, with Jack Miller completing the front row.
Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone were also faster than Marquez. Valentino Rossi could only qualify in ninth spot and Maverick Vinales will start in seventh.