BURIRAM, Thailand – Marc Marquez started the weekend at the Buriram Int’l Circuit with a violent crash, but ended the weekend with a victory and his sixth MotoGP championship.
Marquez, who was transported to the hospital after a crash on Friday only to return for practice later in the day, started Sunday’s race from the third position behind polesitter Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales.
Quartararo got a strong start aboard his Petronas Yamaha SRT, but Marquez was hot on his heels. By lap seven it was just Quartararo and Marquez at the front as the pair traded fast laps.
Marquez shadowed Quartararo for most of the race before making his move on lap 23, getting past Quartararo in turn three only to run wide and give the position right back.
On the final lap Marquez tried again in turn three and this time the move stuck, allowing him to take the race lead. Quartararo tried to keep pace and took one last shot at Marquez in turn 12, regaining the lead.
Marquez didn’t settle for second, slicing back past Quartararo to regain the lead on the run to the finish line to win the race. Quartararo was forced to settle for second, while Vinales finished a distant third.
The victory was more than enough for Marquez to claim his sixth MotoGP title and his eighth world championship overall.
I’m very happy. I’m so happy. When you have an advantage like I had you realise you are so close to the championship but you need to find something to keep you motivated,” Marquez said. “Today it was winning the race and it’s what I did. Fabio was so fast during the race but I never gave up, even during the middle of the race where it looked like he was escaping. It was a beautiful way to win the championship – even if I wasn’t thinking about it on the last lap.
“Arriving in parc ferme with the whole Repsol Honda Team there was fantastic. It’s a dream to do it with the whole fan club and the nice celebration. Every year is special, it’s not easy to keep everything perfect each year to fight for the title and I had a very hard winter with the injury but myself, the team and HRC managed it well. Now we’ll enjoy this feeling a little bit.”
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso finished fourth, with Suzuki’s Alex Rins completing the top-five riders at the checkered flag.