Repsol Honda Team rider takes fifth win of the season in Japan, where he had never won before in MotoGP. In doing so, he sealed his fifth title in seven years and becomes the youngest rider to do so.
Marc Marquez was crowned MotoGP World Champion once more at the Japanese Grand Prix, having previously done so at Motegi two seasons ago. The Repsol Honda Team rider achieved his fifth Grand Prix title with his first mathematical opportunity, which depended on the results of his two rivals in the race for the World Championship. First Valentino Rossi, then Jorge Lorenzo, crashed out in Japan to pave the way to the title for Marquez. The Spaniard took his fifth win of the season –his first at Motegi in the premier class– to become the youngest five-time champion in history at 23 years, 7 months and 27 days old.
“It’s incredible! Before the race I didn’t expect to be Champion, and I said that here it would be impossible. However, when I saw that Rossi was out of the race, I decided to push hard for the victory. I was riding my hardest, and when there were three laps to go, I read on my pit board that Lorenzo was also out; on that same lap, I made mistakes in four or five corners, as it was difficult to stay focused! I’m very happy because this title is very special considering some of the crashes I had last year, and also because it came at Motegi, Honda’s home. Honda has worked so hard this year, and you could see the fruits of that effort also at this track, where we’ve struggled in the past. I myself also improved during the season; for instance, I learned how to better use the front Michelin tyre. It has been a demanding year, but a fantastic one. It’s great for my team, and of course I don’t want to forget my grandmother, who passed away this year and would be very happy with this World Championship. Now we can just enjoy it and go into the last three races with maybe a more ‘Marc Marquez’ style”.