Marquez makes history with seventh world title
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez is now a seven-time World Champion, with the number 93 wrapping up his fifth premier class crown in six years in Japan, making for more than an 83 per cent success rate for the 25-year-old Spaniard, in a history making result across a number of metrics. The race win today marked his eighth for the season.
The youngest rider to win five premier class titles and the youngest rider to reach seven Championships overall, Marquez is also now one of only four men to have won five or more premier class crowns, joining Valentino Rossi, Mick Doohan and Giacomo Agostini in that exclusive club.
“Marc is a brilliant rider and deserves all he has achieved at only 25 years old. He is riding a perfect season, with eight wins to date, combined with his strong consistency that’s put him on the podium at most races. I want to congratulate Marc on his fifth MotoGP title. I am proud to share this milestone with him. Thanks Marc for the great show that you make on the track and for your style, which is just inimitable!”
This time it was 19 rounds that would decide the Champion and it began with fireworks in the desert as ‘DesmoDovi’ came out swinging and dueled Marquez for the first victory of the season. The Italian took it at the final corner of the final lap – the duo’s third duel and the third win for Dovizioso – but Argentina was up next, where Marquez was expected to be the favourite. That he was, but with start line drama hitting the number 93 and three penalties given to the reigning Champion during a riotous race, it was a Grand Prix that saw him fail to score and caused some big debates in the paddock.
Next time out in Texas, Marquez was on a mission to quell the aftermath and rode a lights-to-flag spectacular to take the win by a big margin, only challenged briefly by Andrea Iannone in the early stages. His first win of the season, it put him back in the title hunt – and Dovizioso had had two more challenging rounds since his Qatari celebrations. But it was time to return to Europe and Marquez was about to turn the screw.
Jerez was dramatic not for Marquez’ antics, but for a huge crash at the front involving three key rivals – Andrea Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. They all collided and failed to score, setting the scene for a big points gain for Marquez. The bad luck kept coming for Dovizioso next time out in Le Mans and the Italian crashed out the lead, with the number 93 on the top step once again…
Mugello was a shake up though. The Italian classic was a race to remember for Ducati as they took their first 1-2 at the venue – and it was Lorenzo on the top step for the first time in red. Winning by a sizeable margin, there was a new big threat to Marquez’ mission on the scene, and the Majorcan followed it up by the same, ‘Lorenzo-style’ victory the following race weekend in Barcelona. Marquez was second, however, and did some good damage limitation – with the next race set for the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands.
After qualifying for that Dutch GP it looked like it was going to be a tight fight at the front, but no one could have predicted quite how tight. One of the best races of all time saw a huge battle for the win between a huge group of riders, but it was Marquez who, once again, was able to pull the pin late on and escape to take the flag. A ninth win in a row at the Sachsenring followed it up before a duel with Lorenzo saw Marquez take P3 in Czechia as Dovizioso won, and the number 93 would face the number 99 again in Austria in the following Grand Prix…
Rivalry reignited, the battle for the Red Bull Ring was a spectacular scrap and it was Lorenzo who took the spoils. The Majorcan was on a serious run of form that he followed up with pole at Silverstone, but with racing then cancelled on Sunday it was a blow for the hopes of those who had shown superior pace in practice.
Dovizioso won in Misano to gain some ground but Lorenzo crashed, and Marquez’ second edged him ever closer to the crown. Aragon only underlined that as the number 93 took the win before he finally – on the fourth attempt – beat Dovizioso in a last lap duel with the fight going down to the wire at Buriram in the first ever Thai GP. From there it was next stop Motegi and a first chance at wrapping up the crown.
Qualifying didn’t quite go to plan for Marquez in Japan and he was left to start sixth. Needing a clean getaway to get on the level with polesitter and key rival Dovizioso, that’s exactly what he got – slicing through to third and the race slowly forming into another tantalising 93 vs 04 duel.
After taking the lead in the latter laps it was clear the Spaniard was giving it everything to try and wrap up the title with the win – and that he did. Drama struck on the penultimate lap for Dovizioso as the Italian slid out from the chase, leaving Marquez in clear air in the lead and one lap from being a seven-time World Champion.
That lap ended with a huge wheelie across the line as the number 93 wrote another chapter in his legend, making yet more history in style.
Marc Marquez 2018 Championship Facts
- At the age of 25 years and 246 days, Marquez is the youngest rider of all time to reach the milestone of seven World Championships, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 26 years and 140 days old when he won his seventh title, the 1966 350cc crown.
- Marquez is one of only eight riders to have taken seven or more World Championships across all classes, the others being John Surtees (7), Phil Read (7), Carlo Ubbiali (9), Mike Hailwood (9), Valentino Rossi (9), Angel Nieto (13) and Giacomo Agostini (15).
- Marquez is the youngest rider ever to win five premier-class titles, at the age of 25 years and 246 days, taking the record from Valentino Rossi, who was 26 years and 221 days old when he won his fifth premier-class title in 2005.
- Marquez has joined Mick Doohan, Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini as one of only four riders to have taken five or more premier–class titles.
- Marquez has won all his MotoGP titles while riding Honda motorcycles, joining Mick Doohan as the riders with the most premier-class crowns with the Japanese manufacturer (5).
- Only one Spanish rider has won more world titles than Marquez: Angel Nieto, who earned 13 World Championships (seven in the 125cc class and six in the 50cc class) between 1969 and 1984.
- Marquez has won at least five GPs per season over the past nine years, across three categories: 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. He is the first rider to achieve this distinction in the 70-year history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing, beating his own record from last year. Previously, Mike Hailwood was the only man to have achieved at least five victories per season over seven years, across at least three classes, between 1961 and 1967.
- Marquez’s current 2018 tally of five pole positions extends his all-time pole record (in the modern era—since 1974, when full poles began to be officially recorded) to an incredible 78 poles across three classes.
- Marquez has won more MotoGP races this season than any other rider (8). He has also scored the most podiums (13) and the most pole positions (5).
MotoGP Standings following Grand Prix of Japan
- Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 296
- Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 194
- Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 185
- Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 155
- Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 148
- Johann ZARCO Yamaha FRA 133
- Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 133
- Jorge LORENZO Ducati SPA 130
- Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 118
- Andrea IANNONE Suzuki ITA 113
- Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 95
- Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati SPA 83
- Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 74
- Franco MORBIDELLI Honda ITA 38
- Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 35
- Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 35
- Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha MAL 34
- Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 32
- Bradley SMITH KTM GBR 23
- Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 19
- Scott REDDING Aprilia GBR 12
- Mika KALLIO KTM FIN 6
- Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 5
- Katsuyuki NAKASUGA Yamaha JPN 2
- Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 1