- Associated Press - Saturday, October 11, 2014

MOTEGI, Japan (AP) - Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso of Italy claimed pole position for the Grand Prix of Japan on Saturday while MotoGP leader Marc Marquez was fourth.

Dovizioso clocked a time of 1 minute, 44.502 seconds, a new qualifying record at the 4.801-kilometer (2.983 mile) Motegi circuit. Dovizioso’s compatriot Valentino Rossi was a further 0.555 seconds back on a Yamaha while Dani Pedrosa of Spain was third with a time of 1.44.755.

Spain’s Marquez will launch his bid to retain the title from fourth on the grid having qualified just 0.02 behind Honda teammate Pedrosa.

Marquez holds a 75-point lead over Pedrosa in the MotoGP standings and could wrap up the 2014 title with a win in Sunday’s race.

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