Spain's MotoGP rider Marc Marquez celebrates on the podium after winning the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. | AP
12 November, 2017, 19:30
Two riders, one race, one trophy.
Dovizioso then left the race, leaving the door open for Marquez to clinch the title.
"But I didn't have the speed to really attack the riders in front of me. But in motorsport, anything can happen".
Marquez and Dovizioso have both won six Grands Prix this season. Since his debut in MotoGP in 2008, Dovizioso had only won two races before this campaign. "I'm disappointed because I would like that Dovi would be here with us [on the podium] because he had an incredible season", Marquez said. "And no one watching the races expected it".
"We have to be happy, happy about the championship". 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.
The Ricardo Tormo Circuit has not been an especially rewarding venue for Dovizioso in the past, but he believes he will be competitive this weekend on the Ducati after making strong progress with the bike this year.
Spain's public weather service forecasts sunny skies with no signs of rain that could complicate the track conditions for the race.
However, Dovizioso said he was happy for Lorenzo to lead him during the race, and said he wouldn't have been fast enough to catch the leaders even if the Spaniard had moved over. "We have one strategy: try to win".
"But suddenly I say OK now it is time to push' because I felt really good".
Marquez faced a similar situation in 2013 in his rookie season in MotoGP when he entered the Valencia GP leading the title hunt ahead of Jorge Lorenzo.
The 24-year-old Honda rider, who needed to finish in the top 11 to beat Andrea Dovizioso to the crown, is the youngest driver to win four titles in the class.
The highest-profile casualty in Q1 was the second factory Yamaha of Maverick Vinales, who could only manage the third-best time in the opening qualifying segment.
"It will be hard because there are a lot of fast riders, especially in this track, but I think we have a good speed now and we have to be focused from the first practice and try to create a good speed for the race".