PICTURES COURTESY HONDA
It was a stunning win for Repsol
Honda Team’s Marc Marquez as he crossed the chequered flag to claim the 2016
MotoGP World Championship at a place that could not have been more appropriate.
Yes, Hondas home in Japan. The race which was marked by a lot of drama saw Movistar
Yamaha teammates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo crash out of contention.
First to go was Rossi, into the gravel early – before Lorenzo’s ride through
the pain barrier after a highside on Saturday was cut short; sliding out of P2
in the last few laps. Marquez, however continued to race perfectly to win his third
premier class title in four years, and his fifth victory of the year.
Marquez’s win came after an
initial battle between him and Rossi. But early in the race, a crash for Eugene
Laverty (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) saw the Irishman out the race– his first DNF
of the year – as the three legends Lorenzo, Marquez and Rossi fought for
Then came disaster as Rossi,
the nine-time World Champion made a mistake and lost the front end of his
Yamaha – leaving teammate Lorenzo to stop Marquez from his win.
But then Lorenzo too committed
an error that led to his crashing out, sliding on the gravel and riding through
the pain barrier. There was no looking back for Marquez as he rode on to claim
his third crown, and glory at the home of Honda. This was his third title in
four years in the premier class, and his fifth World Championship after
becoming 125 World Champion in 2010 and Moto2 World Champion in 2012.
Next up, MotoGP returns to the
scene of the Island Battle last season – Phillip Island. With the Championship
decided, maybe a new winner emerges.
“It's incredible. Before the
race I did not expect to be champion, and I said that here it would be
impossible. However, when I saw that Rossi was out of the race, I decided to
push hard for the victory. I was riding my hardest and, when there were 3 laps
to go, I have read on my pit board that Lorenzo was also out -and on that lap I
made mistakes at 4 or 5 corners, as it was difficult to stay focused. I am very
happy because this title is very special, after last year, and also because it
is has come at Motegi, Honda's home. It is great for my team and, of course, I
don’t want to forget my grandmother, who passed away this year and would be
very happy with this World Championship,” said Marquez.