Crutchlow: Marquez has the edge

Marc Marquez still has the edge in the MotoGP championship race despite Andrea Dovizioso’s superb victory in Japan, according to Honda rider Cal Crutchlow.

Ducati rider Dovizioso cut Marquez’s lead in the championship standings to just 11 points last weekend after winning a thrilling race against the Spaniard in the wet at Motegi, his fifth win of the year.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Australian round at Phillip Island, Crutchlow said he feels his Honda stable mate Marquez will prevail, meaning it will take something special for the Italian to come out on top this season.

“All credit to Dovi, pleased for him,” said Crutchlow. “He’s riding very well at the moment, and [I’m] pleased for Ducati as well because they’ve worked very hard to get to where they are.

“They’re both riding superbly. You have to give it to Marc for having another go at the last corner.

“But Dovi is riding really well in the wet and the dry at the moment.”

Asked about his tip for the title, Crutchlow said: “I still think Marc.”

“The only downside for Marc is Dovi’s so strong in Malaysia. Marc’s better in Australia, Dovi’s better in Malaysia, then I think it will be equal again [in Valencia].

“But neither of them can make a mistake, that’s for sure.”

Crutchlow added that he was well aware of Dovizioso’s fighting qualities from when they were teammates, so his form this year is no surprise.

“When I was teammates with him, he was exactly the same,” said Crutchlow. “It’s just he was fighting for fifth and sixth.

“He’s always been a battler, you just hadn’t seen it [previously] because he wasn’t battling with Marc at the front for the win.”