November 11, 2017 / 3:05 PM / 2 years ago

Marquez on pole for MotoGP title decider

FILE PHOTO - MotoGP rider Marc Marquez (L) and Dani Pedrosa (R) pose during the launch of a new Honda CBR150R at the Sentul Circuit, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia on February 14, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Yudhi Mahatma/Antara Foto

VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - Honda’s Marc Marquez was perfectly placed for his fourth MotoGP title in five years after seizing pole position for Sunday’s season-ending Valencia Grand Prix while sole rival Andrea Dovizioso qualified ninth.

The 24-year-old Spaniard, who need finish only 11th to be champion, took the top slot on the grid for the eighth time this season despite a crash on his final run in qualifying.

His mid-session time of one minute 29.897 seconds was 0.349 quicker than French rider Johann Zarco on a Tech3 Yamaha with Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone third.

Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, a triple MotoGP champion and Dovizioso’s Ducati team mate, also crashed but qualified in fourth place.

Marquez leads Dovizioso by 21 points with 25 still available.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond

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