Crutchlow and Smith back Marquez to clinch MotoGP crown

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British duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith have backed rookie sensation Marc Marquez to hold his nerve in Valencia this weekend to capture a record-breaking first MotoGP title.

For the first time since 2006, the MotoGP crown will be decided in a nail-biting last race decider, with Repsol Honda Marquez 13-points clear of compatriot Jorge Lorenzo.

If Marquez claims the title then he will become the first rookie to do so since American legend Kenny Roberts in 1978.

Lorenzo meanwhile is trying to successfully defend his title to win the premier class for the third time on a factory Yamaha YZR-M1.

Crutchlow, who is making his final appearance for Yamaha before he switches to Ducati on Monday, told MCN: “Marc has got a lot of pressure on him now and I will be very interested to see how he deals with it.

"If he doesn’t win the world title it will be an injustice because I think he deserves it. But Jorge is riding very well and probably better than Marc at the moment. But I think Marc deserves to be world champion.”

Smith, who graduated from Moto2 in 2013 with HRC sensation Marquez, said: “Jorge has upped his game and while Marc is in the box seat I am sure Jorge will be going to Valencia to win and nothing else. Marc is going there to win a championship. Marc is under big pressure now and it is not easy but I believe he will close it out with no problem at all.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt