This weekend at Motegi: Can Marquez clinch?

Once again, Repsol took the day.

By the time most of you read this, practice will have started for this weekend’s MotoGP race, and the question is: Will Marc Marquez hold it together and clinch the title on Sunday?

If Marc Marquez wins Sunday, nobody will be able to catch him in the standings. But he doesn’t need to win; he just needs to finish ahead of all his closest competitors (Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi). You can read Asphalt & Rubber’s analysis of the numbers game here.

Yamaha’s factory riders know they’re up against a huge challenge this weekend.

We know that on Sunday if we get there behind him the championship will be over and we want to try keep it ‘open’ for another weekend,” Rossi said.

Lorenzo, meanwhile, is looking forward to proving he’s still the speed demon who won world championships.

“In the second half of the season I have more points than anyone else so far,” he said. “Aragon was fantastic because I expected to be behind the Honda guys, but finally we won the race. Now I’m getting close to the second place in the championship. It is impossible to catch Marc now but my target is to finish in the top two places in every race.”

As for Marquez – the Spanish boy-wonder doesn’t plan on taking it easy to grab some guaranteed points.

“We will try to approach it like a normal race and push to be in the first positions. It is nice to have the chance at the home round for Honda, but I’m not nervous because my target is to win the championship and it doesn’t matter when.”

Of course, sooner is always better than later, and Honda would love to see their superstar win at the track they own.

Practice starts today at 9 a.m. local time, with Moto3 taking the track first, then MotoGP, then Moto2.

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