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This time last year it was the same two riders at the top of the Championship standings: Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez. On that particular Sunday afternoon, it was the Italian who emerged victorious in a last lap epic at a rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix to mount the pressure on his Spanish colleague in the title race.
Dovi style or Marquez style?
Fast forward a year and with Marquez 77 points clear at the top of the standings, Dovizioso isn’t thinking about the Championship. But after their titanic Thailand tussle and last year’s Motegi masterclass, the number 04 machine is ready to put Honda’s Championship celebrations on hold for another race.
“After the Buriram race I would say that the fight for the title is almost over so the most important thing for us will be to continue working in the next races,” says Dovizioso, who will be aiming to claim his 50th premier class podium this weekend – his 27th with the Desmosedici.
Where's the best place to pass at the Twin Ring Motegi?
It’s not just a podium ‘DesmoDovi’ wants though, it’s the win he’s really after: “During a weekend of racing we are able to understand more and more things about our motorcycle, so these last Grands Prix of the season are very important, where the goal must be to win.”
The Twin Ring Motegi is a technical track that has a lot of hard braking and acceleration zones, making it Ducati territory on paper. And Dovi is also a fan: “Motegi? I like it a lot and our Desmosedici is always very strong in braking and acceleration so I'm looking forward to a rematch with Marc in Japan.”
Dovizioso: "On paper, Honda have the best team in 2019..."
Will we be treated to another Dovizioso vs Marquez battle? Well, the 32-year-old is certainly ready and if he can take Ducati’s sixth and his second win at Motegi, he’ll keep the number 93 waiting for his seventh title for another week.
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