Marc Marquez made history by becoming the youngest ever MotoGP World Champion in Valencia on Sunday, completing the season-ending race third to become the first rookie premier class title winner for 35 years.
The Repsol Honda Team rider, who started from pole position, shared the podium with team-mate Dani Pedrosa as race victory went to outgoing title winner Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha Factory Racing.
Marc Marquez: “It was a really long race, maybe the longest of my career! At the start I was very nervous, I know I said I wasn’t but if I’m honest I really was. Jorge had a very good start, as usual, and I wasn’t sure which tactic to take. I followed Jorge and Dani and began to settle into the race. Then towards the end, I decided not to push as I knew my position was secure and safe to take the Championship.
“It has been a fantastic year, I am still in a dream! I really didn’t expect this at the beginning and I am really so very happy. So thank you to all my team, my family and of course Honda and all our sponsors. The support from everyone and all my fans around the World has been incredible and I dedicate this Championship to you all!”
Having already made himself the youngest premier class race winner and pole-sitter as well as registering numerous other records, Marquez now becomes the youngest ever World Champion and takes the mantle away from Freddie Spencer.
At the same time, the 20-year-old from Cervera, Catalunya becomes the first rookie World Champion for 35 years, following in the footsteps of Kenny Roberts from 1978.
Jorge Lorenzo: “I slowed the start of the race a little but I think it didn’t work out because the other riders, Bautista, Valentino, Crutchlow and the others needed some tenths more to stay there. I tried first and last to play a little bit with the race and I managed it quite well but I couldn’t stay there for too long. When I looked behind I could see that Valentino was very far away so I thought that today it was better to concentrate on winning the race and waiting to see if Marc makes a mistake.”
Dani Pedrosa: “The race was difficult at the start because of the overtaking moves between myself and Jorge. However, we fought to the limit until I was taken a little off the track and lost ground as a result. Above all, I want to congratulate Marc today. He has done an excellent job this season and had a great campaign. We should take our hats off to him because he has achieved something historic; to win the MotoGP title as a rookie is incredible”
Lorenzo made his plan clear over the opening laps. Having shot through into the lead, the title winner of 2010 and 2012 attempted to slow the pace as last year’s victor Pedrosa ran second from Marquez, Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing).
With Pedrosa avoiding a series of incidents, the tipping point came on Lap 10 as Pedrosa overhauled Lorenzo but was instantly pushed wide at Doohan corner, leaving Marquez in the lead. The overtaking maneuver is being reviewed by Race Direction and a decision will be made post-race.
Lorenzo retook the top spot just a lap later, while Bautista pressured Rossi before dropping to fifth and the recovering Pedrosa rose to third before being waved through by Marquez on the 26th tour. By this point, knowing Marquez would still become World Champion, Lorenzo put the power down to win for the eighth time this year (two more victories than Marquez) by almost four seconds. Pedrosa collected his 13th rostrum of the season, with Marquez sealing the world title in a comfortable third.
Elsewhere, Rossi signed off his partnership with long-time Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess in fourth place, ahead of Bautista as LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl finished sixth from Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith and Ducati Team trio Nicky Hayden (in his last race for the Italian marque), Andrea Dovizioso and Michele Pirro.
Valentino Rossi: “The race was not so bad, especially after this morning where I had a lot of problems and wasn’t fast enough. Unfortunately I didn’t have the pace to fight for the podium. I was able to stay close at the beginning and try to fight but after I didn’t have the speed, like more or less all the season where I am two or three tenths slower compared to the top guys. For this reason I couldn’t challenge for the pole position, the race and the championship.”
Aleix Espargaro finished 11th in the last event to feature the CRT label, while Cal Crutchlow crashed out of his final Grand Prix with the Tech3 outfit.
Six riders failed to make the finish: Damian Cudlin (PBM), Lukas Pesek (Came IodaRacing Project), Yonny Hernandez (Ignite Pramac Racing), Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar), Andrea Iannone (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) and the aforementioned Crutchlow, while Remus Racing Team wildcard Martin Bauer successfully completed the distance on his second MotoGP appearance.
The 2014 campaign will kick-off in Qatar on Sunday 23 March, with Marc Marquez heading to the Losail International Circuit as the 26th premier class World Champion.
1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 46m 10.302s
2. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 46m 14.236s
3. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 46m 17.659s
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 46m 20.881s
5. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 46m 25.267s
6. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 46m 34.701s
7. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 46m 39.345s
8. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 46m 50.195s
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 47m 3.498s
10. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Test Team (GP13) 47m 13.285s
11. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 47m 14.499s
12. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 47m 17.128s
13. Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 47m 21.783s
14. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* 47m 23.945s
15. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 47m 34.551s
16. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 47m 43.312s
17. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 1 lap
18. Luca Scassa ITA Cardion AB Motoracing (ART CRT) 1 lap
19. Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 1 lap
20. Martin Bauer AUT Remus Racing Team (S&B Suter-BMW CRT) 1 lap
Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) DNF
Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) DNF
Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) DNF
Yonny Hernandez COL Ignite Pramac Racing (GP13) DNF
Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* DNF
Damian Cudlin AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT)* DNF
* Standard ECU.
MotoGP Riders’ Championship 2013 (Round 18 of 18)
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 334
2 Jorge Lorenzo Factory Yamaha Racing 330
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 300
4 Valentino Rossi Factory Yamaha Racing 237
5 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 188
6 Alvaro Bautista Go&Fun Honda Gresini 171
7 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 156
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 140
9 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 126
10 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 116
11 Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics Aspar 93
12 Andrea Iannone Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 57
13 Michele Pirro Ducati Test Team/Pramac Racing 56
14 Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing 41
15 Randy De Puniet Power Electronics Aspar 36
16 Hector Barbera Avintia Blusens 35
17 Danilo Petrucci Came IodaRacing 26
18 Yonny Hernandez Paul Bird Motorsport 21
19 Claudio Corti NGM Mobile Forward Racing 14
20 Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia Blusens 13
21 Ben Spies Ignite Pramac Racing 9
22 Alex de Angelis Ignite Pramac Racing 5
23 Katsuyuki Nagasuga Yamaha YSP Racing Team 5
24 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 5
25 Michael Laverty Paul Bird Motorsport 3
26 Bryan Staring Go&Fun Honda Gresini 2
27 Javier del Amor Avintia Blusens 1
Manufacurers’ Championship 2013
1 Honda 389
2 Yamaha 381
3 Ducati 155
4 ART 99
5 FTR 46
6 FTR Kawasaki 46
7 Ioda-Suter 26
8 PBM 3
9 FTR Honda 2