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Marquez takes pole, Dovizioso starts 9th in MotoGP finale

13 November, 2017, 02:35 | Author: Joan Malone
  • Marc Marquez

Holding a commanding 21-point lead in the championship standings, Honda's Marquez can only be denied a fourth MotoGP world championship if he finishes lower than 11th and Ducati's Dovizioso wins.

However, he'd not have the buffer of Pedrosa for long with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Johann Zarco barging past on the second lap.

Only three men - Giacomo Agostini (eight), Valentino Rossi (seven) and Mick Doohan (five) - have won the premier category championship more often than Marquez.

"I'm disappointed he didn't finish the race today, because he was an incredible opponent, incredible person", said Marquez, who is now MotoGP's youngest-ever four-time world champion.

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez will start the ultimate race of this season on pole despite a late crash in qualifying.

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Those riders riders all booked a place in Q2, as did 16th-fastest Dovizioso, who managed eighth in the combined times on the strength of a strong Friday lap.

Dovizioso was frustratingly held up by Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo before both crashed out in separate incidents. Tomorrow morning you will not find me. "I didn't have the speed to attack the rider in front of me so when I saw that I thought "ok, this is good" but I tried even harder and I was already pushing 100 per cent until that time". Pulling the pin, Pedrosa left Zarco with no answer on the final lap to take his second win of the year.

Ultimately, though, the Spaniard came out on top on home soil to deny Zarco his first MotoGP win and round off a flawless day for the Honda pair. "In the race we will fight until the end".

"Johann was very strong all the race and it was very hard because he was going into the corner very fast".

Marquez's title bid was almost derailed six laps from the end when he ran into the first corner too quickly and lost the front under braking, though he miraculously save the incident and safely navigated his way out of the gravel trap.

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