VALENCIA, Spain — Jorge Lorenzo won the MotoGP World Championship season finale at Valencia, while Marc Marquez became the youngest world champion in history.
Marquez started his Repsol Honda from the pole and finished third to secure the title. The 20-year-old from Cervera, Catalunya becomes the first rookie world champion for 35 years, following in the footsteps of American Kenny Roberts in 1978.
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 world champion, taking that mantle away from Freddie Spencer.
“You know…it is a dream that has come true,” Marquez said. “Maybe too early because I didn’t expect it in the first season of MotoGP. It feels so good.
“I cannot explain what I feel, to fight in front of all of our fans with Jorge and Dani (Pedrosa) — two of the best riders in the history of MotoGP. Now I just want to say thanks to Honda, all of my team, all of the people that helped me, my family…they are always there and I don’t know what else I can say because I feel so good.”
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).
Having avoided incidents on a selection of occasions, 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 directors.
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 longtime 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.