Zarco snatches Japan MotoGP pole, Marquez third

Zarco snatches Japan MotoGP pole, Marquez third”

Marquez, who paid for his decision to switch his Honda over to slick tyres, has a 16-point advantage over Dovizioso with four races left.

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso breathed new life into the MotoGP championship on Sunday, edging Marc Marquez in a ferocious duel to win a rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix in Motegi.

Marquez all but brushed Dovizioso's rear wheel as he attacked at the last corner but could find no way through.

Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci was third, 10.557 seconds off the pace.

Yamaha star Valentino Rossi has had a forgettable weekend so far with several problems and will start 12th in tomorrow's race after falling from his bike in the final practice session.

The race settled into pattern with Petrucci holding station at the front as Marquez and Dovizioso bided their time behind the satellite Desmosedici in second and third respectively.

In a white-knuckle battle in appalling conditions at the Twin Ring circuit, Dovizioso snatched the lead from championship leader Marquez in a dramatic last lap after the swashbuckling Spaniard made a rare mistake when rounding a corner.

The Yamaha rider then edged down to a 1m55.283s after the chequered flag to end up just 0.029s adrift of Marquez in the session, and fifth in the combined timesheets behind Dovizioso, Marquez, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and Lorenzo.

Dovizioso led by eight tenths at the end of that lap, but Marquez rapidly closed in and took the lead back with three laps to go to set up another thrilling showdown.

Dovizioso used the power of the Ducati to draw alongside Marquez on the straight before executing a smooth pass under braking into turn 11.

"On the last lap I saw there was a small advantage but I did a few mistakes", he added.

Petrucci sealed the final rostrum place in a lonely third, 10.5 seconds behind, with Iannone getting the better of team-mate Rins for fourth.

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