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Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso claims pole position for Grand Prix of Japan

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

PHOTO: Spain's rider Dani Pedrosa talks with team staff at the qualifying session ahead of Sunday's Japanese Motorcycle Grand Prix at Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Motegi, north of Tokyo, Japan, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Spain's rider Dani Pedrosa talks with team staff at the qualifying session ahead of Sunday's Japanese Motorcycle Grand Prix at Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Motegi, north of Tokyo, Japan, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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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