Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso says he will try and put Marc Marquez’s MotoGP World title celebrations on hold as he plots a victory at Motegi in Japan this weekend.

The Italian rider, second in the championship and 77 points behind his Honda rival, took victory in Japan in 2017 after a battle with Marquez in the wet.

Dovizioso was foiled by Marquez in the previous round in Thailand, when he left a gap for the Honda rider to squeeze past after running wide at the final corner on the last lap, when he passed the reigning champion on the brakes.

Now, the Italian is aiming to make amends at Motegi, when a win would force Marquez to wait until the next round at Phillip Island in Australia to wrap up his fifth MotoGP crown.

“We have to be happy about the last weekend but for sure now we are in Japan and I think it is a good track for us,” Dovizioso said.

“Let’s see the weather because it looks like tomorrow will be wet, but anyway I think it can be a good track for us and we will try during the race to make the celebration for Marc at the next race, and not this one!”

Dovizioso was quizzed on whether or not he feels he could have planned his final lap in Thailand any better, but the 32-year-old said it was always easy to think he could have done things better with the benefit of hindsight.

“After the race, it is easy to make something different and better. I think the strategy was good during the race until the last lap. For sure, when he did that special overtake in Turn 5, I answered immediately and maybe it wasn’t the best choice,” he said.

“I couldn’t prepare the last braking (pass) in the perfect way and I arrived a bit too long, but it’s okay – the race went well, the weekend was a very good weekend for us because we started quite far, like in the test, but practice by practice we become very competitive and fight for the victory.”

However, Dovizioso said forcing Marquez to wait until the next race to become world champion again was not the motivating factor this weekend, but rather he is driven by his own desire to win.

“No, unfortunately for too many races I’m racing without thinking about the world championship because the gap was too big. It’s another race, like Marc said, and he can manage to win the championship in four races,” he said.

“We want to win and come back with the victory, and it can be a good track for us.”

 

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