Sports

Marquez joins greats with fourth world title in five years

Marquez joins greats with fourth world title in five years

Marc Marquez tightened his grip on the MotoGP world championship on Saturday, by qualifying on pole for the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix with championship rival Andrea Dovizioso down the grid in ninth.

"I changed that moment, and I said 'OK, I need to finish the race'".

Team-mate Dani Pedrosa, meanwhile, overtook Johann Zarco on the final lap to claim his second win of the season.

The moment - which dropped him to fifth before the Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo crashed in front of him - was the result of pressure from Tech3's Johann Zarco, as he was "scared" to let the Frenchman try a potentially unsafe move.

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez will start the ultimate race of this season on pole despite a late crash in qualifying.

It wasn't as clear cut as many expected, however, with Marquez so almost crashing out of the race at the mid-way point, losing the front at turn one and miraculously saving it.

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When Zarco eventually made his move on Pedrosa, Marquez was more than happy to allow the Tech 3 pass him too, avoiding the potentially costly pitfalls of a battle for the lead.

Holding a commanding 21-point lead in the championship standings, Honda's Marquez can only be denied a fourth MotoGP world championship if he finishes lower than 11th and Ducati's Dovizioso wins.

Dovizioso was the sole rider who could challenge Marquez.

It was in the 25th lap that Lorenzo crashed into the ground, leaving the race, as did Dovizioso, who managed to come back, but in the last place.

Marquez, the youngest man to win four titles in the class, ends the championship with a total of 298 points, ahead of Dovizioso on 261 and fellow Spaniard, Maverick Vinales (Yamaha), on 230. Lastly, Aleix Esparagaro will start behind Rossi followed by Suzuki Ecstar rider Alex Rins at P10. Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar) +14.516s 7. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) +17.230s 9. Ducati Team test rider and wildcard entry Michele Pirro will be starting sixth.


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