Marc Marquez Becomes Youngest Rider to Win Four MotoGP World Championships

Marc Marquez has earned a spot in the annals of sports history…

The 24-year-old Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer became the youngest rider in MotoGP history to win four world championships on Sunday at a dramatic Valencia MotoGP.

Marc Marquez

Watched by a crowd of 110,000 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, the race pitted Marquez, a rider for Repsol Honda, against Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Marquez finished in third place, while Dovizioso retired after crashing into the gravel late into the race, ensuring Marquez, the defending world champion, retained his crown.

It was a tense finale at the end of a close-fought 2017 MotoGP season.

Marquez was defending a 21-point championship lead over Dovizioso heading in the 18th and final race and sped into an early lead from pole position.

Marquez sensibly let combative Frenchman Johann Zarco through to head the race. Behind them, Marquez’s Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and the two Ducatis of Jorge Lorenzo and Dovizioso gave chase.

For long periods, it appeared that Lorenzo was inexplicably holding up his teammate. Signals from his crew seemed to be imploring the Malaga man to allow Dovizioso through, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, Marquez followed Zarco at the front, apparently content to let the Frenchman pursue a maiden premier class win. However, as the laps ticked down, Marquez ran out of patience and swept by, only to lose the front end of his Honda in the following corner.

It was the kind of moment that has come to define his career. 

As his bike began to slide from beneath him, Marquez jammed an elbow into the tarmac, lifting the Honda back onto its wheels. The bike hit the gravel, but Marquez somehow managed to maintain control and re-join the race, in fifth place.

Shortly after though, Lorenzo and Dovizioso’s races ended. Lorenzo spectacularly crashing out, while Dovizioso — like Marquez — succumbed to the lure of the gravel. Unlike his rival though, he was unable to keep his bike upright.

Pedrosa denied Zarco his first MotoGP win, with last year’s Moto2 champion finishing second.  Marquez clawed his way back to third, meaning he could celebrate his championship win from the podium.

Marquez’s victory was his fourth in five years in motorcycling’s premier class and his sixth world title overall — he won the 125cc class in 2010 and the Moto2 crown two years later.

“I’m living a dream,” Marquez told reporters after the race. “‘Six Titles’ are big words.”

“Today the race was incredibly tense and exciting — a bit ‘Marquez Style’,” he laughed. “I made a mistake, but I also made my best save of the year.”

Pedrosa was aghast at his teammate’s save: “It was incredible. The smoke, the noise, the speed — wow, impressive!”

Dovizioso was philosophical about his season. “I tried everything and I think that we have to be pleased with this weekend.  We weren’t as quick as Marquez but we fought to the very end,” he said.

“I put myself in the right position but, unfortunately, I didn’t have many cards to play.”

He also rubbished suggestions that Lorenzo had held him up. “In the end staying behind him helped me ride in a smoother way, so it was positive he was in front of me,” he explained.

Lorenzo Claims MotoGP World Title with Win at Sunday’s Valencia Grand Prix

Jorge Lorenzo has added another world title to his racing resume…

The 28-year-old Spanish professional motorcycle road racer won his third MotoGP title with a victory at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix on Sunday, as Valentino Rossi failed to make up enough ground on his Yamaha teammate from the back of the grid.

Jorge Lorenzo

Lorenzo entered the race trailing Rossi by seven points, but the veteran Italian couldn’t manage more than a fourth-place finish.

Rossi, who needed second place to guarantee the title, started last on the grid because of a penalty for kicking Marc Marquez in the previous race.

After the checkered flag, Rossi went on a rant against Marquez and accused him of protecting his fellow Spaniard in the last three races of the season.

Lorenzo finished with 330 points, five more than Rossi, who was trying to win his eighth world title and the first since 2009.

“This was one of the toughest races, if not the toughest of my life,” Lorenzo said. “The tension and the pressure was very high from the first corner, but I tried to push to the limit, like I usually do.”

Lorenzo added to his MotoGP triumphs in 2010 and 2012, after wins in the 250cc category in 2006 and 2007.

He started from pole position and stayed in front at the Ricardo Tormo circuit outside Valencia. He grabbed Spain’s flag and rode with it around the track in his victory lap.

“It was very emotional. I was crying throughout the victory lap,” he said. “What we achieved today is huge after a very difficult season. Five times now. I’m very proud to have won this world title for Spain.”

Marquez, the winner of the past two MotoGP championships, finished the race behind Lorenzo in second, but he never tried to make a significant move for the lead.

Dani Pedrosa, winner of two of the past three races, was third to close out the all-Spanish podium.

“I was riding over the limit,” Marquez said. “I was preparing the attack for the last two laps, but Dani overtook me, and we lost time. Second place is not the best way to finish the season, but next year, we will be back to try to fight for the title again.”

Rossi said Marquez was protecting Lorenzo.

“Today was embarrassing for everybody because it was unbelievable. The behavior of Marquez is something very bad for everything, especially for the sport,” Rossi said. “I hope that he will understand what he did in these last three races in the future of his career. At the end, I think that also Lorenzo have to not be very happy, as it is not a championship that was won on track.”

Lorenzo had a clean start, but Rossi quickly moved up the field behind him and had already reached 10th place just two laps into the 30-lap race.

Rossi continued to press forward and got to fifth after 10 laps, but he couldn’t make much ground after reaching fourth place two laps later. His only chance was if something happened to the riders ahead of him. He could have won the title if both Marquez and Pedrosa passed Lorenzo at the end.

There was extra interest in the Valencia GP after Rossi had a role in Marquez’s crash in Malaysia two weeks ago and also accused him of trying to favor his fellow Spaniard in the title race. Rossi appealed his penalty to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but his request was denied a day before the first practice session Friday in Valencia.

Lorenzo hadn’t won since the Aragon GP four races ago, but he had finished on the podium every time since then. The Yamaha rider ended the year with seven victories, including all four races in Spain.

The 36-year-old Rossi won four races and had only three podium finishes since he won the British GP six races ago.

It was the second time Rossi entered the season-ending race with the points lead but failed to win the title. He was surpassed in the standings by American Nicky Hayden in 2006 after falling early in the decisive race in Valencia and finishing only 13th.

Márquez Becomes Youngest-Ever MotoGP Champion

Sure, he didn’t win the Valencia Grand Prix on Sunday… But Marc Márquez still has plenty of reason to celebrate.

The 20-year-old Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer has become the youngest MotoGP champion.

Marc Márquez

Márquez’s third-place finish at the season-ending event in Valencia, Spain secured him the 2013 world title in his rookie year.

Jorge Lorenzo won the race but Márquez only needed to finish in the top four to become the first to win the world title in his debut season in 35 years.

Dani Pedrosa was second, but only Lorenzo could deny Márquez.

“This is a dream that comes true,” he said. “I cannot explain what I feel.”

The win for Márquez sparked wild celebrations throughout the 104,000-strong crowd as the phenom wrote his name into the history books.

“I didn’t expect to fight for the championship [this season],” Márquez told BBC Sport. “Jorge Lorenzo did a great job but thanks to my team.”

Lorenzo said: “Marquez has been a deserving champion, today is his day.”

Márquez Earns Pole Position in Decisive Valencia Grand Prix Race

Marc Márquez is thisclose to making racing history… And, he’s in the prime position to approve it.

The 20-year-old Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, the current MotoGP points leaders, will start ahead of defending champion Jorge Lorenzo in the decisive Valencia Grand Prix after winning the pole position in the qualifying session on Saturday.

Marc Márquez

Márquez pushed his Honda through a lap in 1 minute, 30.237 seconds on the 2.48 mile Cheste Circuit.

Lorenzo will start Sunday’s season finale in second on the grid.

Márquez leads Lorenzo by 13 points entering the final race of the season. He needs a top-four finish to become the first rookie to win the championship since American Kenny Roberts in 1978.