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MotoGP’s traditional late-season surge with the triple-header of flyaways begins at Motegi for the Japanese Grand Prix and despite Marc Marquez wrapping up the riders’ world title there’s still plenty to play for.

Marquez has made it clear he’s out to seal another Triple Crown for Honda, with the constructors’ and teams’ crowns next on his to do list, and while Honda holds a dominant 77-point lead over Ducati in the constructors’ standings it is going to take some doing for Repsol Honda to overhaul Ducati in the teams’ with the Italian squad holding a 19-point advantage with four rounds to go.

The 26-year-old might have to single-handedly take on Ducati duo Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci given team-mate Jorge Lorenzo has failed to score a point since Misano.

But given Marquez’s exploits so far this season, his fight can’t be discounted starting this weekend at Honda’s race – one he’s claimed victory at in two of the last three seasons.

But with the all-important riders’ crown tied up in Thailand, it also provides Marquez with the ideal opportunity to get an early start to his 2020 preparations.

The same can clearly be said for the rest of the MotoGP grid and while in truth the riders’ world championship has been largely decided for the last few races the mathematical certainty provided at the Chang International Circuit will only fast forward thoughts towards next season.

Fabio Quartararo has already cemented himself as one to watch for the rest of the season and going into 2020, when Marc Marquez expects him to challenge for the MotoGP world title, despite the rookie still hunting his maiden race win in the premier class.

After coming so near but so far to that first victory in Thailand, losing out in another final-lap duel with Marquez, Quartararo has four more chances to become the first rookie to win in MotoGP since the newly-crowned eight-time world champion back in 2013.

 

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