It was the perfect weekend for team Repsol Honda at the Motegi Grand Prix as Marc Marquez took a hard fought win to the pole, while also sealing his crown for the world championship title this season. The three-time MotoGP champion won his first-ever win at Honda’s home track – Motegi, while both Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo that posed as the biggest rivals in his road to the championship title crashed out, thereby clearing the route for the title.
The Japanese weekend wasn’t the most exciting for Yamaha after Lorenzo’s major crash during the free practice session that led to the ligament tear and damaged leg, nevertheless, the Spanish rider made it back to the track qualifying third on the grid. The technical track also saw Dani Pedrosa crash over the weekend leaving him with a broken shoulder and was declared unfit to race, while Rossi registered his first pole outside Europe since 2008, but was not in the best of health suffering from a cold.
Marc Marquez Motegi MotoGP
Marc Marquez secures his fifth championship title in all classes
The 24 Lap Motegi GP saw Rossi suffer from a poor start, which gave Marquez the needed push as he moved to take the pole. Lorenzo too managed to pass his teammate moving into second, while Alex Espargaro moved to third for a brief period, but Rossi managed to take back the third place immediately. However, Rossi’s pace was short lived as the Italian rider lost control of the front of his M1 as he moved into Turn 10 in the early stages of the race and crashed out. He did get back on the bike but retired after a few laps.
Marc Marquez Motegi MotoGP
This is Marquez’ third championship title in the premier class
Rossi’s exit from the Motegi GP really put the focus back on Marquez and Lorenzo as both riders battled for the top spot. Moreover, Rossi’s crash also put Lorenzo back to second in the points table and the current world champion had to finish the race on the podium to stop Marquez from being crowned the title. But, much like his teammate, Lorenzo’s run was cut short in the closing stages of the race as he crashed out in Turn 9.
Yamaha Motegi MotoGP
The Motegi GP was unforgiving for both Yamaha riders
With the Yamaha boys out of contention, Marquez was unshakeable from the pole position and raced to victory with a lead of almost 3 seconds, thus marking his fifth championship title and becoming the youngest rider to do so at the age of 23. Finishing second and third in the Motegi GP were Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati and Maverick Vinales of Ecstar Suzuki, while teammate Alex Espargaro finished fourth.
With three races of the season remaining, it will be interesting to see if Marquez will be able to secure his sixth win of the season. Meanwhile, the season wasn’t the best for Rossi, while Lorenzo fought hard but will have to settle second in the rider standings.