If his lead stands at 75 or more after the chequered flag waves on Sunday, Marquez will secure his fifth MotoGP title in just six seasons in the premier class, or seven world titles all up when factoring in his 125cc and Moto2 crowns.
At 25 years and 246 days old on race day, Marquez would be the youngest rider to score five premier class world championships.
The equation is simple for Marquez: if he beats Dovizioso in Japan, he is world champion.
Otherwise, Dovizioso could potentially keep the championship battle alive for Phillip Island.
HOW DOVI KEEPS HIS TITLE HOPES ALIVE
The key factors for the Ducati man is to finish ahead of Marquez, and to finish no worse than 13th.
If Dovi finishes on the podium and is ahead of Marquez the championship remains alive, with no scenario giving Marquez the 75-point buffer he’d need.
The equation becomes a little bit more complicated if Dovizioso beats Marquez but finishes off the podium.
The title remains alive if Dovi finishes:
P4, and Marquez finishes no better than P6
P5-13, and Marquez finishes three or more places behind him.
If Dovizioso finishes 14th or worse but beats Marquez, he won’t score enough points to bring his deficit to Marquez under 75 points.
Dovizioso can’t win the title by tying Marquez on points. He could equal Marquez’s win tally by sweeping all remaining races, but would lose on a countback of second-placings; Dovi has three, Marquez currently has four.
THE THIRD TITLE CONTENDER
Valentino Rossi heads to Japan in mathematical contention but, realistically, is no chance of taking his 10th world championship in 2018.
The Yamaha rider currently sits 99 points behind Marquez, one short of the maximum haul of 100 across the remaining four races.
Even if Rossi were to win all four of the remaining races this season, Marquez could score just a single point in any of them and beat Rossi to the title on a countback of wins (7-4).
And the odds of the 2018 Yamaha winning all four of those races – given it hasn’t scored a single victory yet this year – remain long…
Source: Fox Sports