Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), meanwhile, will be hoping to make more of a fight of it at Motegi. The venue has been a good one for the Italian and he is a man who’s been on pole before: the track was where Dovizioso took his first pole in the premier class in 2010, and he did it again in 2014 and 2018. He also won the 2017 showdown with Marquez in the rain – one of the most stunning duels of recent years, and there have been a few – and he’s been on the podium in the dry, so it makes for good reading. And there’s no home race pressure for the number 04, although the team and constructor standings add some back in. On that count, however, there could be more for teammate Danilo Petrucci, as the Italian is now fifth overall – although only a handful of points off Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in third and one point behind Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). He’ll want more from Motegi and the final four rounds overall.