Motegi, venue for this weekend's Japanese MotoGP, is characterised by a series of hard-braking and acceleration areas.

The exit of slow corners has long been a strength of the Ducati, which has won five times at the Honda-owned circuit, including Andrea Dovizioso's last lap showdown with Marc Marquez in the wet last year.

"For sure our bike, I think, is really good in that part. Not just for the wheelie control. This is why I think we can be very competitive here," said Dovizioso, who can delay Marquez's title celebrations by beating the Spaniard this weekend.

Repsol Honda's Marquez acknowledges the Ducati has the edge in terms of hard acceleration, but hopes to gain time in the mid-corner.

"Of course it's one of the parts where we struggle a little bit more, during these last years and for example in Thailand it was the part where I struggled more, especially on the acceleration side," Marquez said of the RCV's wheelie control.

"It's also one of the strongest points of the Ducati and for that reason, I say maybe this weekend will be difficult, but we will try.

"Anyway, we have other strong points - the turning in the mid-corner and tight turning - where we can have some small advantage there to compensate for what we lose in other places."

And could Yamaha cause a surprise this weekend?

Maverick Vinales was behind Marquez and Dovizioso in Thailand, but only 0.270s from victory. Vinales revealed he will try the M1 fairing upgrade, briefly debuted by team-mate Valentino Rossi in Buriram, this weekend.

"Actually in Thailand we improved a lot the wheelie control," Vinales said.

"We have a new fairing to try here, trying to keep the front wheel a little bit more down and use more power, which I think is what we needed in Thailand to be able to win the race.

"So let's see if we can manage well and we can be strong."