The 23-year-old Spaniard defied the odds to claim his third Moto GP Championship after a solid ride amidst his Championship rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo crashing out of the race.
Rossi started on pole but was out fairly early, as were his hopes of this year’s Championship after taking a trip into the gravel whilst in pursuit of Marquez ahead. After Rossi’s fall, Marquez was able to build a gap to Lorenzo, who needed to finish in the top-four. After sustaining a massive crash on Saturday, the Movistar Yamaha rider battled to keep within touch of Marquez.
A charge from Dovisioso later on amounted to such pressure that Lorenzo lost control with five-laps to go, handing the title to Marquez.
The now three-time MotoGP Champion Marquez said after the race that,
“Honestly, it is an amazing feeling because I didn’t expect before the race to win here, it would have been impossible, but then when Rossi went out I say okay, I push 100 percent and go for the victory.
I was pushing, pushing but after some laps I see on the pit board that Lorenzo is out and that lap, honestly, I made mistakes in maybe four or five corners . . . because it was so difficult to concentrate.
But now I’m really happy, it is really special after last year’s season to come back to the top, in Motegi.”
– Marc Marquez
— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) October 16, 2016
Jorge Lorenzo put his hands up to the mistake that cost him. He said,
“I’m very disappointed, because I made a mistake. I tried to push too much when the bike was not working well with the tyres.
In Aragón we made a good decision with the tyres and this time it was the opposite. We chose the wrong front tyre, with the soft I think I would have made a better race, because my front tyre on the first laps was vibrating and closing. I didn’t have a good feeling, that’s why I couldn’t keep up with the pace of Marquez. Finally, because Dovizioso was coming, I pushed more than before in that corner and the front tyre didn’t give me any support or feedback and I crashed.
It’s a pity because here we had a great chance to win. The crash [on Saturday] made the race more difficult because of the pain and also with the mistake on the front tyre. So we lost a great opportunity to win.”
– Jorge Lorenzo
— Jorge Lorenzo (@lorenzo99) October 16, 2016
Moto GP heads to Phillip Island, Australia next week in what will be a procession of victory for Marquez.