Marc Marquez is focussed on increasing his title lead after qualifying ten places clear of championship rival Andrea Dovizioso for Sunday's Australian MotoGP.

While the Repsol Honda rider broke free from a following Andrea Iannone to claim a seventh pole position of the season, Dovizioso could only manage eleventh (+1.110s) for Ducati after a heavy fall in final practice.

"Of course I'm really happy with this pole position, also because we are in a very important moment of the season and qualifying was not easy because I had some traffic in the first part of the qualifying," Marquez said.

"Iannone was following me since FP2! I tried to play my cards in pit lane to lose him and we found a good lap."

Marquez made clear he didn't blame other riders for following him.

"Too many laps and you can overheat the tyres, it's better to be in front, but over one lap here the slipstream makes a big difference," he said. "A few riders are following me and it's normal. I completely understand because in the end riders always want to follow a fast rider and when I'm sometimes slow I try to find the way too."

The Spaniard goes into Sunday's race with a reduced eleven-point lead over Dovizioso, after losing out to the Italian in last weekend's thrilling Japanese duel.

"The most important thing is to try and finish on the podium and especially in front of Dovi," Marquez said.

"Dovi starts from eleventh, but in Motegi he started ninth and was behind me by lap 4. So we will see. Here is a little different and it depends on the weather. I think Vinales will be very fast and Zarco has a good race too.

"Finishing the race is most important because at 4pm the temperature starts to drop and it's very critical.

Indeed, given his previous accidents while leading at Phillip Island in 2014 and 2016, Marquez suggested he is prepared to be patient on Sunday.

"We will see how the feeling is with the bike and also especially it's important to warm the tyres well. The Yamaha riders are very fast with new tyres and our strategy depends on which rear tyre we will chose.

"The race is very long, 27 laps, and the tyres can drop, but I feel good with the soft and medium tyre on the rear and we just need to look for the weather.

"Sometimes you feel light rain on your visor but the track is not wet enough for wet tyres. But when it is wet, the track dries really quick. I would prefer a dry race, but in the wet this morning I was fast. I didn't feel 100% comfortable, but the lap time was coming."


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