Dovizioso pips Marquez in wet practice at Motegi

Dovizioso pips Marquez in wet practice at Motegi

Dovi Splashes To Early Advantage

BC-MOT-Japan GP, 120 Dovizioso fastest in practice for MotoGP Grand Prix of JapanAP Photo XKAN107, XKAN111, XKAN106Eds: APNewsNow.

Honda rider Marquez proceeded to stretch his advantage at the head of the standings with a succession of hot laps, going 1.3s clear of the pack with a 1m57.194s and then opening the gap to nearly two seconds with a 1m56.439s.

Luckily for the Spaniard he skidded onto the gravel on the seat of his trousers with the only real damage done to his pride.

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"Our speed was there and our lap times were good so I feel confident for the weekend", he added.

"Today from the first exit I felt really good: the grip is really good on the rear and that is very important for us, so we had a good feeling from the beginning".

Marquez went quickest in a morning session made treacherous by the rain, his time of 1:55.418 still the best until Dovizioso produced his fastest lap a quarter of an hour into the afternoon run.

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That was until Dovizioso posted a 1m54.877s a little over 15 minutes into the session, surpassing Marquez's morning time by six tenths of a second and opening up a 1.1s cushion on the field.

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo was fourth quickest combined, the triple world champion pipping Yamaha's Johann Zarco and Danilo Petrucci's Ducati.

Marquez clinched his third world title in Japan a year ago after Rossi and Lorenzo both crashed out.

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With four races left, Marquez leads Dovizioso by 16 points.

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