Marc Marquez has ended his MotoGP season with a bang…
The 26-year-old Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, rounded out a memorable season with a dominant victory at the Valencia Grand Prix as fellow home favorite Jorge Lorenzo’s final race ended with a disappointing 13th-place finish.
Having already sealed his sixth MotoGP world championship, Marquez’s 12th win in 19 races in the last round of the season also ensured the teams’ trophy for Repsol Honda.
Fabio Quartararo started on pole but after being passed by Marquez was unable to keep pace with the brilliant champion and crossed the line second ahead of Jack Miller.
Marquez’s teammate and three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo announced his retirement earlier in the week and the 32-year-old, having qualified 16th, was unable to make significant headway on a cold and windy day in Spain.
Quartararo quickly regained the lead out of the second corner having seen Miller make a flying start off the line, as Marquez began slowly.
The world champion wasted little time slaloming his way back through the pack, though, and by the end of the end of lap two was second and in pursuit of Quartararo.
It must have felt like deja vufor the Frenchman, who has been denied a win in his rookie season on a couple of occasions by Marquez, and there was an air of inevitability when the brilliant Spaniard stole the lead.
With 20 laps to go, Marquez sent his Repsol Honda down the inside from way back at Turn 11 and quickly set about opening up an unassailable gap.
Further down the pack, Johann Zarcowas taken away from the side of the track on a stretcher after a hugely unfortunate incident.
Danilo Petrucci, Zarco and Iker Lecuonaall came off their bikes independently at Turn 6, but the latter’s bike wiped out an unaware Zarco leaving him clearly winded, with television images later showing the Frenchman back in the garage with no apparent major damage.
The rest of the race passed by without major incident as Marquez coasted to an astonishing 18th top-two finish of another memorable campaign, surpassing 400 points in the process.
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) +1.026s
3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +2.409s
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) + 3.326s
5. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) + 3.508s
6. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 8.829s
7. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +10.622s
8. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) +22.992s
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +32.704s
10. Pol Espargaro (KTM) +32.973.
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 420
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 269 (-151)
3. Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 211 (-209)
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 205 (-215)
5. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 192 (-228)
1. Repsol Honda 458
2. Ducati 445 (-13)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 385 (-73)
4. Petronas Yamaha 307 (-151)
5. Suzuki Ecstar 301 (-157)