Riders predict a close encounter at the Japanese GP

It’s more than just Marquez vs Dovizioso at the Twin Ring Motegi…

After a sensational qualifying day at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, which saw Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) take pole position, the premier class riders are predicting a close race to unravel on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s what a few of them had to say ahead of the Japanese GP joust:

- Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – P1: “Marc has a really good pace, but not just Marc. Overall, Marc and I are very very similar (in terms of pace). It looks like the tyre consumption is less than in the last two races, so the range of the strategies can become bigger, so everybody is able to do the race in a different way. The goal is to win the race.”

- Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) – P2: “Dovi and Marc are fighting for titles, so it’s maybe an opportunity to win the race and why not think about victory.”

- Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) – P3: “We had good race pace in FP4. I hope that Andrea (Dovizioso) can have a good race and stay in the Championship. There are many fast guys out there.”

- Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) – P4: “The guys on the front row are fast. Jack did a great lap as well as Johann and Andrea, superb laps to be on the front row. I think Johann, Marc, Dovi and me have the pace. Maybe Pedrosa… he seems a bit on and off lately but when he goes into a race situation he’s strong. And Iannone is not called the Maniac for no reason, so let’s see what he can do. It’s going to be an enjoyable race I think… I hope… and I hope it’s enjoyable for everyone watching as well.”

- Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – P5: “We are really close, everybody. Six or seven riders are really close.”

- Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) – P7: “If we improve, we can be on the podium”

- Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) – P9: “Zarco is always strong here in Motegi. It’s one of his favourite tracks. He will be very strong tomorrow because he has a very good pace, so it will be difficult to finish in front of him.”

- Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) – P12: “There’s a lot of pressure. There are a lot of fans waiting outside. It’s great to see the Japanese flag from the track and it should be a good race.”

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