Marc Marquez has won the 2018 MotoGP title for the fifth time in six years following victory in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 25 year old Spaniard needed to finish ahead of season long rival Andrea Dovizioso at the Motegi circuit to clinch the title.
In what was a tense, tactical race Marquez and Dovizioso pulled away with the two men sizing each other up in preparation for what was expected to be a thrilling final lap. But it wasn’t to be with Dovizioso making an uncharacteristic mistake and crashing out of second place on the penultimate lap.
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This meant Marquez was able to cruise to victory and world title number seven ahead of Britain’s Cal Crutchlow and Spaniard Alex Rins.
Speaking after the race Marquez said: "This circuit was a challenging one to manage that, but it seems like when I’m under pressure, I feel better on the bike! Today the race was as I expected. I was prepared to make a good start and immediately make some passes.
"I got to second place at the end of the first lap, and then was able to follow Andrea and stay with him. I thought I could try and attack before the last lap because I felt I had something extra to give. He was pushing very hard and made a mistake, and that’s a shame because he deserved to be here on the podium."
Marquez’s continued dominance of MotoGP shows absolutely no signs of letting up. His pace and new found consistency during the 2018 season means that he clinched the title with three races to spare.
He said: "I feel really, really good. I would say it’s a dream came true, or better, that I’m living a dream. It’s something so special, here together with my team, all the Honda and HRC people, my family and my staff.
"It has been a great season, and ever since Aragon I’ve been tasting, imagining this title, because it was very close. Then I realised that this wasn’t my style, and I needed extra motivation, so I set the goal of trying to achieve it with my first match ball—in Motegi, by winning the race."