Marquez retains his MotoGP crown

Honda rider Marc Marquez celebrating his fourth MotoGP world title in five years on home soil. The Spaniard, who missed out on the world crown in 2015, finished third at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix yesterday.
Honda rider Marc Marquez celebrating his fourth MotoGP world title in five years on home soil. The Spaniard, who missed out on the world crown in 2015, finished third at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix yesterday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

VALENCIA (Spain) • Spain's Marc Marquez sealed his fourth MotoGP world championship with a third-placed finish at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix yesterday.

Holding a commanding 21-point lead in the championship over Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, Marquez was guaranteed the title with a top-11 finish or if the Italian failed to win the race.

And Dovizioso's fate was sealed when he crashed out five laps from the end.

"It is an amazing feeling," Marquez told BBC Sport after the race.

"In the race I tried to be calm and control the situation. But in Turn One, I lost concentration on the braking point.

"I would like to congratulate Dovi and the Ducati team, because they did amazing, and the fair play was there, so I'm really happy."

His Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa won the race while France's Johann Zarco was second.

Starting from pole, Marquez waved Zarco through on the fourth lap to rule out any chance of an untimely early crash.

However, the 24-year-old could not resist an attack on the Frenchman to try and win the championship in style with eight laps to go and ran wide, dropping him down to fifth.

Yet, Ducati's hopes of usurping Marquez were quickly undone as Jorge Lorenzo and then Dovizioso both crashed out as they paid the price for pushing at the limit for the whole race.

Up front Pedrosa and Zarco were left to battle it out for the race win in a pulsating final few laps.

Ultimately though the Spaniard came out on top on home soil to deny Zarco his first MotoGP win and round off a perfect day for the Honda pair.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2017, with the headline 'Marquez retains his MotoGP crown'. Print Edition | Subscribe