Lorenzo sets pace in 2nd FP for Valencia MotoGP

Spain's MotoGP rider Marc Marquez celebrates on the podium after winning the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. | AP

Marc Marquez took pole position for the Valencia Grand Prix where the defending MotoGP champion has the chance to clinch his fourth title.

Marquez has now moved past Jorge Lorenzo, a three-time MotoGP champion who joined Dovizioso on the DNF list in Valencia, to become the most successful Spanish rider of all-time.

At the age of 24 years and 254 days, Marquez became the youngest four-time champion, breaking the milestone set by Mike Hailwood of 25 years, 107 days that had stood since 1965. The Honda rider secured his 73rd career pole (45 in MotoGP), while it was his eighth pole of the season in Valencia.

Dovizioso was the sole rider who could challenge Marquez. Marquez hasn't finished worse than sixth place in the 14 races he has completed this year, and looks likely to take the title if he can avoid crashing. Instead, the Italian crashed out as pressure built near the end.

"In the race I tried to be calm and control the situation".

With his bike leaning perilously close to the surface, Marquez poked his left elbow out and appeared to use it to stave off disaster.

Lorenzo seemed to be getting messages from his garage to let Dovizioso pass but refused to do so until he went off.

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Marquez celebrated his fourth title in five years with his fans at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

"It is an awesome feeling", Marquez said.

"Johann was very strong all the race and it was very hard because he was going into the corner very fast".

"This is very, very nice, and I learn many, many things from Andrea".

Marquez's title bid was almost derailed six laps from the end when he ran into the first corner too quickly and lost the front under braking, though he miraculously save the incident and safely navigated his way out of the gravel trap.

Pedrosa, another Honda rider, overtook Johann Zarco late in the race. Honda's Marquez needs to finish in the top 11 to claim the championship, while Ducati's Dovizioso will have to take the win if he wants to dethrone Marquez.

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