MotoGP World Championship title pacesetter Marc Marquez is ready to embrace a critical phase of his quest for a fourth premier class crown.

Marquez has opened an advantage of 16 points over Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso following back-to-back wins at Misano and Aragon.

The Spaniard is focused on pulling further clear this weekend at Motegi in Japan, which heralds a run of three consecutive flyaway rounds prior to final round of the 2017 championship at Valencia in Spain.

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Marquez, who won his third title in 2016 following his maiden victory at the Twin Ring circuit, said: “There are four GPs to go in the season and we must give 100 per-cent at every one, starting with the three flyaway rounds. These races are always demanding due to the different time zones and conditions, and this year with the Championship so close, they’ll be even more of a challenge.

“The most important thing for us is that since Montmeló, we’ve been on the podium in every race but Silverstone. We’ve done a good job of managing different conditions and different circuits, which gives us confidence and shows that we’re at a good level everywhere,” he added.

“We have some great memories in Japan, because we won last year and got the title there twice, but every season is a new story and we must remain focused and ready to handle every situation.

“Track conditions in Motegi can vary dramatically, and we’ll have to work hard on the set-up to find a good compromise for the hard acceleration and braking. We’ll give our best effort and push hard to get another good result in front of Honda’s home fans.”

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I put money on Marc to win the title after Le mans, when his odds were long.

I've now cashed that bet inearly , taking 80% of the winnings, because although I think he's in prime position, I still believe that anyone who crashes so regularly will break a wrist or semething they can't ride around.

Marc brings the most to this class, with consistent at-the-limit riding like we haven't seen since Gary McCoy. His ability to land well is equally astonishing, but it is bound to bite him sometime soon. He's a great champion, but I think that this is Dovi's only chance and I also would be happy to see someone who is the polar opposite of MM win.

It's been a great few years for MotoGP. WSB looks dead by comparison. I wonder could MM do one weekend with Honda at WSB, see how that would pan out? Obvs the MotoGP title is way more important.

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the ant is definately the favorite, I hope whats going on back in his home is not too much of a distraction and his family is well.

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@PATRICKD: So let me understand this. In one sentence you are saying you bet on Marc because of the odds, in the next you pulled the bet because he crashes a lot. And the main reason for taking the bet was because your crystal ball said Marc would win the title. But we all know Valentino, Pedrosa and Lorenzo crash very few times, the rest push beyond the limit. I have been reading your posts for yonks, you got cold feet, and I think you just lost 20%... 

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@MICHAEL WALL whats going on back home?

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@G92648

I think he is refering to the Catalan independence referendum

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I'm hoping Marquez has competition not only from Dovi, but from all the other riders, Folger, Zarco, Lorenzo, whomever!  I want to see a battle.  I want it to be close, so it's one of the best seasons ever. 

Something tells me that Marquez wants that too.  He's said as much too about just finishing a race to win the title.  He wants the battle, he wants to mix it up, and we wants to earn it.  And if he's not the one earning the championship title, whomever it is will have earned it too.

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@patrickd and @dickens, I get it. Back when Marc was trailing there were good odds to be had, I am no gambler but let's say 3:1. Now that he is on fire and tied in points, maybe the odds are only 1.3:1. The big idea is, it was never a question of Marc being unable to catch the leaders so those odds were underestimating his ability as a rider, but current odds are overestimating his chances to stay fit. I can see this logic.

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He’s been here a few times before and has proven he can handle the pressure. Should be interesting to see how Dovi and MV cope.

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I can understand the desire to want to battle for a title - surely it feels like a better win if you don't get it given you on a plate.

I'm sure the other riders will be giving it all they've got to try & stop Marc taking another one.

And for sentimental reasons I agree it would be very special for Dovi to take the title

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