Marc Marquez takes his sixth world title and fourth premier class crown
The youngest rider to ever achieve the feat
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) is now a six-time World Champion following a dramatic Final Showdown at Valencia overnight.
Marc Marquez – 2017 World Champion
“I’m living a dream. ‘Six Titles’ are big words. The truth is that I’m incredibly happy because we worked so much this year, and today the race was incredibly tense and exciting—a bit ‘Marquez Style.’ I made a mistake, but I also made my best save of the year. From that moment on, I just tried to finish the race in a good position. I’m sorry that Andrea didn’t finish the race, as he deserved to do so. He had an incredible season and I would have liked to have him on the podium with me today.
“The key to the year has been our mentality. In our world it’s very important to remain positive and motivated during the difficult moments. Some things happened to us at the beginning of the season but when we found the way to sort things out, everything went better. Congratulations to Honda and the entire team for the Triple Crown. It’s an amazing achievement.
“Winning the Title at the last race of the season in front of our fans is one of the best things possible, really special. Now I want to enjoy this with my entire team and my family, and after that we’ll start to work for next year.”
Taking the MotoGP crown for the fourth time in five years makes it an 80 per cent success rate for the rider from Cervera, who continues to work his way through the record books and has wrapped up title number six at Valencia.
The end of 2015 saw Marquez lose the title of World Champion for the first and so far only time since moving to MotoGP, 2016 saw the number 93 launch a controlled re-assault on the Championship and 2017 has seen that same control as he’s battled at the front, but with more scope to attack. Six wins before being confirmed as Champion make for good reading, before a podium to finish the year off at the final round.
A 15-year-old Marquez made his debut in the World Championship in 2008, and although his rookie season was curtailed by injury, he made headlines by achieving a podium result at Donington Park.
He picked up another podium result in 2009, before becoming 125 World Champion for the first time in 2010 – winning ten of the last 14 races of the year.
Moving into the Moto2 class for 2011, Marquez had more difficult start to the season before going on an incredible winning run, taking seven wins to close down the once-large lead of title rival Stefan Bradl – including a podium in Phillip Island from P38 on the grid.
A crash in practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix put a stop to his charge that season, however, and Marquez was forced to sit on the sidelines with serious problems with his eyesight. Not knowing whether the problem could be solved, Marquez had a tough off season with his career in doubt until surgery was able to correct the problem.
Back on track for 2012, he then took the Moto2 World Championship in style – including an impressive win from the back of the grid at the season finale.
Then it was graduation time and the reigning intermediate class Champion moved up to MotoGP. On the podium in Qatar and winning his second Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.
Marquez became the youngest ever rider to clinch the premier class world title in MotoGP, thanks to a truly amazing debut season in 2013. He also became the first rookie premier class World Champion for 35 years.
The 2014 campaign saw Marquez raise the bar as he took ten successive victories in the opening ten rounds of the season, and Marquez wrapped up the title in Japan at the Twin Ring Motegi for the first time – the home of manufacturer Honda.
2015 began well, with a win at the Americas GP and the number 93 looking to defend his crown. But too many crashes and points lost as the Yamaha charge of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo gained traction saw Marquez out of contention by the time the flyaways came around. A stunning win in Phillip Island saw Marquez back on the top step. After taking victory in one of the greatest races of all time, Marquez and Rossi then clashed next time out in Sepang.
Valencia saw the rider from Cervera take another home podium in P2 to complete the year, ready to recharge over the winter and take back his crown from new World Champion Lorenzo.
The strategy was then changed for 2016, as Marquez rode to win a title rather than win the most races. That saw him take the crown at the home of Honda at Motegi – as he did in 2014.
Wins in Texas, Argentina, Germany and Aragon saw the Spaniard 52 points clear ahead of the Japanese GP, and arriving there as the only rider to score in every race. 2017 hasn’t played out the same, but the result is the same: an incredible sixth crown.
Beginning the year off the podium at Qatar and then with a DNF in Argentina, Texas was where Marquez first gained some traction, taking his now customary pole and win.
That was followed up with a podium at Jerez before what seemed like a disastrous third DNF of the season at Le Mans. After a tough Mugello that saw key rival Andrea Dovizioso take a stunning home win, Marquez then began a podium run until a mechanical issue at Silverstone, but also included a win at Sachsenring and Brno.
One of those races was a stunning duel at the Red Bull Ring versus Dovizioso, which will be penned into the history books. After Dovizioso won his fourth race of the year at Silverstone, Marquez struck back at Misano – and then again at Aragon.
But his Italian rival was far from done, with another jaw-dropping duel lighting the fuse on the rivalry once more in the pouring rain at Motegi – which Dovizioso won.
Phillip Island saw Marquez extend his lead in the points in the Australian GP, and was yet another incredible showcase of the best of MotoGP as Marquez pulled away from the dogfight of the year.
That set the number 93 up with his first chance at the crown next time out in Malaysia, but Dovizioso won in the rain as Marquez took fourth. It all went down to the wire, with the Italian needing a win and Marquez only to finish 11th or higher.
In that dramatic final race, Marquez almost crashed, saved a huge moment and then rejoined behind Dovizioso – but the Italian crashed out of contention in the race and Championship soon after.
Then calmly able to regroup and take the flag in third, Marquez wrote another stunning chapter in both his own history and that of the sport he has pushed the boundaries of since since 2013, with four premier class crowns in five years.
Tetsuhiro Kuwata – HRC Director – General Manager Race Operations
“Today our riders and team did a perfect job. The race was very tense for everybody, but the final result was amazing! Marc was brave and pushed hard as always, managing to get on the podium despite a big scare! Dani finished the Championship with a victory, so I don’t think we could have asked for more today. I would like to thank the riders, everyone in the Repsol Honda Team, and HRC at home. We’ll keep giving our 100% to continue in this way.”
Yoshishige Nomura – HRC President
“Today was the ‘perfect storm’ for HRC and Honda, as we won the Rider Title, Constructor Title, and Team Title, earning the Triple Crown. Of course I am extremely happy with this fantastic result, and I would like to congratulate Marc and Dani for their hard work and commitment, as well as all the HRC Engineers and our Sponsors, who together have contributed to this incredible result. I am very proud of all them.”
Marc Marquez Fast Facts
Marquez is the youngest ever rider to win four premier class World Championship titles, at the age of 24 years 254 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 25 years 107 days when he won his fourth successive 500cc title in 1965.
Marquez is also the youngest rider of all time to reach the milestone of six World Championships, taking the record from Valentino Rossi who was 25 years 244 days old when he won his sixth title in 2004.
This is the sixth world title across all classes for Marc Marquez (4 x MotoGP, 1 x Moto2, 1 x 125cc); the only Spanish rider with more world titles than Marquez is Angel Nieto, who won thirteen world championship titles (7 x 125cc, 6 x 50cc).
Marquez has stood on the top step of a podium on five or more occasions for the last eight years across the various GP classes, something achieved previously by only one other rider in the 69-year history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing: Giacomo Agostini.
This is his fourth MotoGP title riding for Honda: the only rider who has won more premier class world titles riding for Honda is Mick Doohan, who won the 500cc title on five occasions.
During 2017 Marquez has had more podiums than any other rider in the MotoGP class (twelve) and most pole positions (eight). He is equal on most wins with runner up Andrea Dovizioso (six each).
MotoGP 2017 – Round 18 – Valencia – Race Results
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 25 Repsol Honda Team 46’08.125
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 20 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 0.337
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 16 Repsol Honda Team 10.861
- RINS Alex 42 SPA 13 Team Suzuki Ecstar 13.567
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 11 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 13.817
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 10 Team Suzuki Ecstar 14.516
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS 9 EG 0,0 Marc VDS 17.087
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 8 LCR Honda 17.230
- PIRRO Michele 51 ITA 7 Ducati Test Team 25.942
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA 6 EG 0,0 Marc VDS 27.020
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 5 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 30.835
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 4 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 35.012
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 3 Octo Pramac Racing 38.076
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 2 Pull&Bear Aspar Team 41.988
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 1 Reale Avintia Racing 47.703
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA 0 Reale Avintia Racing 47.709
- VAN DER MARK Michael 60 NDL 0 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 52.134
2017 MotoGP Final World Championship Standings
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 298 Repsol Honda Team
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 261 Ducati Team
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 230 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 210 Repsol Honda Team
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 208 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 174 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 137 Ducati Team
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 124 Octo Pramac Racing
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 112 LCR Honda
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 84 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS 82 EG 0,0 Marc VDS
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 75 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 70 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR 64 Octo Pramac Racing
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 62 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
- RINS Alex 42 SPA 59 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 55 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA 45 Reale Avintia Racing
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA 35 EG 0,0 Marc VDS
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 32 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 29 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 28 Reale Avintia Racing
- PIRRO Michele 51 ITA 25 Ducati Test Team
- KALLIO Mika 36 FIN 11 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR 5 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
- NAKASUGA Katsuyuki 21 JPN 4 Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing
- GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA 1 Team Suzuki Ecstar