A Marc Marquez masterclass reinforced the six-time world champion’s status as Honda’s most influential powerbroker after he delivered the triple crown to his employer by winning in Valencia on Sunday.
The Spaniard’s 12th victory of an incredible season add the Teams' title to that of the Constructors' and Riders' championships already in Honda’s trophy cabinet.
And the Marquez name will further dominate the factory Repsol Honda squad with HRC confirming on Monday that Marc will be joined by his younger brother Alex in 2020.
While Marquez denies exerting undue influence, the sudden retirement of Jorge Lorenzo opened the door for Alex, the 2019 Moto2 world champion, and in turn gives Honda unrivalled leverage to keep their main man happy as contract negotiations for 2021 and beyond continue.
Alex Marquez is initially expected to test the 2019 specification LCR Honda this week in Valencia before moving onto the 2020 Repsol Honda. Alex has signed a one year deal with the Repsol-backed squad bringing an end to speculation that either Cal Crutchlow or Johann Zarco are set to take the coveted ride.
Zarco is now likely to drop back to Moto2 with MarcVDS with Crutchlow staying at LCR. Meantimes, retiring Lorenzo said he "felt free" after completing his final MotoGP race in 13th place. So while Marquez had been a virtual one man band in securing Honda the 2019 team title he also acknowledged that Lorenzo remains the only rider to beat him to a MotoGP crown (in 2015).
"My first target is always the rider’s championship but I’m happy for the team crown for Honda and our sponsors and also for Jorge," Marquez said.
"The Jorge I have in my mind is the Jorge who is the five-time world champion. Nobody deserves to finish his career struggling so much with injuries and at a minimum we will celebrate something tonight together. This is very important."
Marquez was an unstoppable force in the final race of the season, taking a narrow but controlled win over Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) and Jack Miller (Ducati).
"I made my worst start of the season but the comeback was aggressive passing many riders and catching Fabio and then taking just one lap to overtake him," said Marquez.
Unlike the thrilling last lap battles at Misano and Thailand, Quartararo, who started from pole, had no response to Marquez’s unrelenting pace.
"A lot of people told me I didn’t deserve the seat in MotoGP and that I was not ready, but I think I proved that I was ready with seven podiums and six pole positions," he said.
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