MotoGP: Marquez wins third title in style amidst Japanese GP drama

    Marquez won the Japanese GP to secure his third MotoGP title in four years, after Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo crashed out.

    Published On Oct 17, 2016 01:54:00 PM

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    MotoGP: Marquez wins third title in style amidst Japanese GP drama

    Honda's Marc Marquez won the Japanese Grand Prix to secure his third MotoGP title in four years, after Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo crashed out.

    Marquez started the day 52 points clear of Rossi and 66 ahead of Lorenzo, and with 75 still on offer in the three grands prix after the Motegi race had downplayed his prospects of sealing the title.

    However, with his fifth victory of the season, and with the Yamaha pair both falling out of contention, the 23-year-old has a third premier class title to go with his 2013 and '14 triumphs.

    Marquez took the lead off the line, but exited the first corner in second place, behind Lorenzo, who muscled his way past both polesitter Rossi and Marquez on the inside line.

    Lorenzo led the way until the fourth lap, when Marquez moved past down the inside at Turn 9.

    Rossi had to wait another two laps to do the same, and by that time Marquez was 0.866 seconds clear and setting a string of fastest laps.

    Any hopes Rossi had of chasing Marquez down came to an end on lap seven, when the Italian crashed at Turn 10.

    He remounted but headed straight back to the Yamaha garage, retiring from the race and bringing his title challenge to an end.

    In order to keep his own hopes alive, Lorenzo had to finish on the podium.

    Battered after his Saturday practice accident, Lorenzo stayed in second place, but his advantage over Andrea Dovizioso was gradually cut.

    With seven laps to go the Ducati rider was just four tenths behind, while having lapped relentlessly in the 1m45s barrier for the first 14 laps, Marquez led by nearly four seconds.

    Marquez's day then got better when Lorenzo lost the front end of his Yamaha at Turn 9 with five laps remaining.

    He got the message on his pitboard that Lorenzo was down, and made no mistake from there, taking victory to seal the title with three races to go, at Honda's home circuit.

    Along with 125cc and Moto2 titles in 2010 and '12, Marquez is the youngest rider to reach five world championships across the three classes.

    Dovizioso picked up second place, while Maverick Vinales caught and passed Suzuki team-mate Aleix Espargaro in the final third of the race to complete the podium.

    LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow was the only frontrunner to opt for the hardest of the three front tyres, and his switch on the grid did not pay off as he finished a distant fifth, delayed by a mid-race off.

    Pol Espargaro was sixth for Tech3 Yamaha, while Aprilia and Pramac Ducati riders completed the top 10, with Alvaro Bautista seventh and 10th, and Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding eighth and ninth.

    On his return from injury after missing the last three grands prix, Bradley Smith battled his way to 13th place.

    RESULTS - 24 LAPS:

    POSRIDERTEAMBIKEGAP
    1Marc MarquezHondaHonda42m34.610s
    2Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati2.992s
    3Maverick VinalesSuzukiSuzuki4.104s
    4Aleix EspargaroSuzukiSuzuki4.726s
    5Cal CrutchlowLCR HondaHonda15.049s
    6Pol EspargaroTech3 YamahaYamaha19.654s
    7Alvaro BautistaApriliaAprilia23.032s
    8Danilo PetrucciPramac DucatiDucati28.555s
    9Scott ReddingPramac DucatiDucati28.802s
    10Stefan BradlApriliaAprilia32.330s
    11Katsuyuki NakasugaYamahaYamaha42.845s
    12Yonny HernandezAspar DucatiDucati52.219s
    13Bradley SmithTech3 YamahaYamaha53.783s
    14Tito RabatMarc VDS HondaHonda54.760s
    15Hiroshi AoyamaHondaHonda1m00.155s
    16Loris BazAvintia DucatiDucati1m04.440s
    17Hector BarberaDucatiDucati1m42.966s
    18Mike JonesAvintia DucatiDucati1 Lap
    -Jorge LorenzoYamahaYamahaRetirement
    -Valentino RossiYamahaYamahaRetirement
    -Jack MillerMarc VDS HondaHondaRetirement
    -Eugene LavertyAspar DucatiDucatiRetirement
    -Dani PedrosaHondaHondaWithdrawn

    CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

    POSRIDERPOINTS
    1Marc Marquez273
    2Valentino Rossi196
    3Jorge Lorenzo182
    4Maverick Vinales165
    5Dani Pedrosa155
    6Andrea Dovizioso124
    7Cal Crutchlow116
    8Pol Espargaro106
    9Andrea Iannone96
    10Hector Barbera84
    11Aleix Espargaro82
    12Eugene Laverty71
    13Alvaro Bautista63
    14Scott Redding62
    15Danilo Petrucci58
    16Stefan Bradl55
    17Bradley Smith45
    18Jack Miller42
    19Michele Pirro36
    20Tito Rabat29
    21Loris Baz24
    22Yonny Hernandez17
    23Katsuyuki Nakasuga5
    24Alex Lowes3
    25Nicky Hayden1
    25Hiroshi Aoyama1

    Copyright (c) Autosport. All rights reserved.

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