Marc Marquez said it felt like he was “in a dream” after he retained his world title to become the youngest ever MotoGP back-to-back world champion with a gutsy second place at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.
By claiming 20 points for a second-place finish at the Motegi circuit, the 21-year-old Honda rider stretched his championship lead over Yamaha’s Italian rider Valentino Rossi and his team-mate Dani Pedrosa to an unassailable 82 points with three races remaining.
Yamaha’s former double world champion Jorge Lorenzo claimed victory on the day, 1.638 seconds ahead of Marquez, who overtook Rossi with eight laps remaining and held off the Italian to secure the title. Pedrosa finished fourth. It was the second consecutive win for Lorenzo after his victory in the rain-hit Aragon Grand Prix last month.
Marquez could have settled the championship earlier in the season after registering a record-equalling 10 consecutive wins, but crashes at San Marino and Alcaniz delayed his coronation.
“It’s difficult to explain right now but I have been in MotoGP for two years and won two titles. It is incredible and something I could not have imagined,” he said. “I am in like a dream.
“I am really happy to win the title on Honda’s home circuit and I offer my thanks to my family and to the team for giving me the best material and motivation to win.”
Marquez, who last year became the youngest MotoGP world champion at the age of 20, stopped on his victory lap and was presented with a ceremonial sword by a Samurai warrior flanked by a pair of kimono-clad female assistants.
He waved the sword above his head towards his supporters before returning it to the Samurai and remounting his bike to complete the lap of honour.Reuse content