Spaniard seals title on first opportunity and thrills Repsol Honda at home track
Marc Marquez has become the youngest ever rider to win consecutive MotoGP championships with the Repsol Honda rider securing second place at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan in Honda Racing Corporation’s back yard with the 21-year-old thrilling the fans at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. The double MotoGP champion finished the race in second behind Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo while teammate Valentino Rossi claimed third place.
I am very happy to have sealed this second consecutive World Championship at Honda's home circuit. It's incredible to get it here!
Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo got off to a great start alongside Marquez from the second row and took no time in passing teammate Valentino Rossi, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and the Ducati Team pole man Andrea Dovizioso for the lead while Marquez took a little longer getting through the front men being naturally cautious and not wanting to make any mistakes that could have robbed him of his first title winning opportunity.
The race settled into a good rhythm after the first few laps with Lorenzo beginning to pull away at the front while Marquez passed each of his competitors with clinical precision and the main resistance came from Rossi who was determined to make Marquez work for his second MotoGP title but he wasn’t to be denied and he passed Rossi on his second opportunity.
Jubilant scenes of celebration as Marquez takes second title
This left Marquez to circulate in a lonely second place but it didn’t stop Marquez from trying to catch Lorenzo although his Spanish compatriot was nearly 2 seconds up the road at the end of the race. The championship celebrations began with Marquez being presented with a samurai sword at the side of the track, which he then used to cut the rope on a balloon that thrilled the Japanese fans before arriving back in the pits to his ecstatic crew who wasted no time in elevating Marquez into the air in jubilation.
Pedrosa crossed the line in fourth and no chance to keep the pressure on his teammate for the championship title – to win the title Marquez needed to lose no more than 3 points to his teammate and 15 points to Rossi. Pole sitter Dovizioso finished in 5th while Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone had a strong race crossing the line in 6th with Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) in 7th and the top ten completed by Monster Yamaha teammates Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith in 8th and 9th respectively and Alvaro Bautista (GO&Fun Honda Gresini).
Rossi&Lorenzo full of praise for Marquez on taking second MotoGP crown
Lorenzo was very happy to take his second win of the year and he also praised Marquez on winning his second MotoGP crown. “I’m very happy to win the race for the second time in a row. We are happy for Marc that he won the title. This year he was the best in general, so we want to say congratulations. The good thing about this year was that the four top riders were very similar. We had very strong races that were consistent and equal, so for the next races I expect a lot of fights. We are very close to the second position and that’s our goal. We are going to try.”
Marquez was thrilled to take the Championship title in Honda’s Twin Ring Motegi circuit and is the first rider to ever do so. Speaking afterwards the double MotoGP World Champion said, “I am very happy to have sealed this second consecutive World Championship, because although it is difficult to maintain this level, in the end we succeeded! Today is the time to enjoy this title. In the race I had a very clear objective, which was to finish ahead of Valentino and Dani - the other riders did not matter to me so much today. I just had one goal in mind and the important thing is that I was able to achieve it. I want to dedicate this title to all the people who have helped me - they know who they are - and especially to my family and the team, who are the foundation for all of this.”
Rossi was content with his race pace today and he congratulated Marquez on his second premier class title. “From one side I’m very satisfied because the race had a high level,” Rossi said while continuing, “We had a high race pace and were breaking the lap record. We rode like this from the beginning to the end and I felt good with the bike. From the other side it’s a shame that I was unable to keep the championship open for another week. I tried to get back on Marc, but unfortunately he had something more than me, so he arrived in front of me. I have to say that he deserves this championship. He worked well and was the stronger man this year. Congratulations to him.”