Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda has been crowned the 2018 MotoGP world champion in Motegi, Japan.
The 25-year-old Spaniard has successfully clinched his seventh world title after Andrea Dovizioso dropped out from contention with two laps remaining.
It was quite a showdown but Marquez managed to secure the championship at the home of Honda in Motegi.
With 77 points ahead of his closest rival this year who happens to be Andrea Dovisioso from Ducati and also having obtained the worst qualifying session of the season in sixth, Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda has been crowned the 2018 MotoGP world champion at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan!
After eight wins and 5 other podium finishes, it was only a matter of when the young Spaniard will secure his seventh world title. And what a way to do so at the home of Honda of Twin Ring Motegi in front of all his Japanese fans and compatriots with his fifth premier class crown.
With the setting set at the home ground of Honda in Motegi, it was clear that the pressure of obtaining his next world title finally caught up with him this weekend after a difficult start. Marquez who is usually happy and upbeat about most things seemed a bit ‘passive’ after the Q2 session yesterday afternoon after qualifying in the last spot of the second row.
It was apparent that he had to pull off something remarkable in order to defeat all the riders in the grid especially Andrea Dovizioso in P1 followed by other tough opponents, Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL), and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) who all qualified in front of the main Honda man.
It was a good start for Dovizioso as the red lights went off but Marquez was already behind his closest contender for this season in the very first lap. As predicted by most folks, it was yet another showdown between Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati Desmosedici GP18 and Marc Marquez’s Honda RC213V.
The first part of the race saw Dovizioso maintaining his position in first place followed by Marquez and Crutchlow. It seemed as if the Honda factory rider was struggling just to keep up with the Ducati man and there was one point where Marquez dropped to third after Crutchlow completed his overtaking manoeuvre. Marquez, however, quickly gained back his ground and continued to pressure the strong Italian rider in front of him.
With 11 laps to go, Marquez made his move but almost lost everything when he went wide at Turn 9. Dovizioso quickly took advantage of the situation and gained the front position back at the very next turn. The trend continued until the final 4 laps where Marquez completed a textbook block pass on Dovizioso.
The championship was finally cemented as Dovizioso suffered a low side with two laps remaining. The pressure to catch up with the 2018 MotoGP world champion was too much for the Italian. It was even more difficult as the front end of his Ducati Desmosedici GP18 was equipped with a soft tyre option compared to Marquez’s medium.
Whatever the case may be, it has been yet another monumental season for Marquez and Repsol Honda and there’s no better time and place for them to celebrate the 2018 championship at the home of Honda. Congrats, Marc Marquez and Repsol Honda!
Image source: MotoGP