Spain’s Marc Marquez wrapped up his third straight MotoGP championship with a victory at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday after title rival Andrea Dovizioso fell on the penultimate lap while trying to find a way past the Honda rider.
The 25-year-old is now tied with Australian Mick Doohan on five premier class world titles, with only Italy’s Valentino Rossi (seven) and Giacomo Agostini (eight) having won more.
Marquez, who had sealed two of his previous titles at Motegi, moved 102 points clear of Ducati’s Dovizioso with three races remaining.
Dovizioso started on pole and led for most of the race before Marquez, who had started sixth on the grid, made his move with four laps left.
Marquez had been on the Italian’s tail for much of the race and the pressure eventually built on the Ducati rider as he relinquished the lead.
Dovizioso attempted to move back past Marquez on the penultimate lap but pushed it too far and came off his bike. He recovered but eventually finished 18th.
That left Marquez knowing he was going to secure his fifth title as he completed his final lap, shaking his head in disbelief at the achievement.
“I feel really, really good,” said Marquez after celebrating with the Honda team, who were joined by the company’s CEO Takahiro Hachigo at the manufacturer’s home race.
“After Aragon I already felt, I already imagined that it will be here, but the good thing is when you have the first chance (to win the title), then you do it.”