CHESTE, Spain: Spain’s Marc Marquez sealed his sixth world championship and fourth in the premier MotoGP category with third place at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix on Sunday.
Holding a commanding 21-point lead in the championship from Andrea Dovizioso, Marquez was guaranteed the title with a top-11 finish or if Dovizioso failed to win the race. And Dovizioso’s fate was sealed when he crashed out five laps from the end.
Marquez’s Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa won the race from France’s Johann Zarco in second.
Starting from pole, Marquez waved Zarco through on the fourth lap to rule out any chance of an untimely early crash.
However, he couldn’t 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. — AFP
Valencia MotoGP results
1. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 46min 08.125sec, 2. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) at 0.337, 3. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 10.861, 4. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 13.567, 5. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 13.817, 6. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Suzuki) 14.516, 7. Jack Miller (AUS/Honda) 17.087, 8. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda) 17.230, 9. Michele Pirro (ITA/Ducati) 25.942, 10. Tito Rabat (ESP/Honda) 27.020
1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 298 points, 2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 261, 3. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 230, 4. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 210, 5. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 208, 6. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) 174, 7. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Ducati) 137, 8. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) 124, 9. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda) 112, 10. Jonas Folger (GER/Yamaha Tech3) 84
Moto2: 1. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM) 43min 15.843sec, 2. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Kalex) at 2.154, 3. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM) 4.181, 4. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Kalex) 11.181, 5. Alex Marquez (ESP/Kalex) 12.146, 6. Hafizh Syahrin (MAL/Kalex) 14.595, 7. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN/Kalex) 18.446, 8. Fabio Quartararo (ITA/Kalex) 22.188, 9. Simone Corsi (ITA/Speed Up) 23.592, 10. Dominique Aegerter (SWI/Suter) 23.751
Overall standings: 1. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Kalex) 308 points, 2. Thomas Luthi (SUI/Kalex) 243, 3. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM) 241, 4. Alex Marquez (ESP/Kalex) 201, 5. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Kalex) 174, 6. Mattia Pasini (ITA/Kalex) 148, 7. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN/Kalex) 137, 8. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM) 125, 9. Simone Corsi (ITA/Speed Up) 117, 10. Hafizh Syahrin (MAL/Kalex) 106