Ducati rider Dovizioso fastest in practice for Japan MotoGP

MOTEGI, Japan (AP) — Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso set the fastest time in Friday’s practice for the Japanese MotoGP.

Dovizioso had a time of 1 minute, 45.358 seconds at Twin Ring Motegi, 0.105 ahead of Honda rider Cal Crutchlow. Johann Zarco was third-fastest on a Yamaha.

Marc Marquez, who has a chance to clinch the MotoGP championship in Sunday’s race, was fourth in the morning practice and did not set a time in the afternoon session when rain began to fall.

Marquez sealed the 2014 and 2016 MotoGP titles at the Motegi circuit and has a 77-point lead over Dovizioso heading into Sunday’s race.

After a brief outing in the first practice to test his physical condition, Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo decided to withdraw because of a wrist fracture he sustained in Thailand. Lorenzo is currently fifth in the standings.

There will be one more practice session before Saturday’s qualifying.