Marquez 2017 World Champion …the story

Marc Marquez is the 2017 MotoGP World Champion after taking the third place in today’s Grand Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.

At 24-years old, Marquez is now the youngest ever rider to win four premier-class World Championship titles and six World Championships over all classes, during a period of only ten years of World Championship racing.

Marquez has now equalled Jim Redman and Geoff Duke’s tally of 6 World Titles in his career.

Marc Marquez 2017 World Championship facts so far:

– Marquez is the youngest-ever rider to win four premier-class World Championships, at the age of 24 years and 268 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 25 years and 107 days old when he won his fourth premier-class title in 1965.

– Marquez is also the youngest rider of all-time to reach the milestone of six World Championships, taking the record from Valentino Rossi, who was 25 years and 244 days old when he won his sixth title, the 2004 MotoGP crown.

– Marquez has won all his MotoGP titles riding Honda motorcycles. The only Honda rider to have won more premier-class world title is Mick Doohan, who won five premier-class titles in the 1990s.

– Only one Spanish rider has won more world titles than Marquez: Angel Nieto, who won 13 World Championships (seven in the 125cc class and six in the 50cc class) between 1969 and 1984.

– Marquez has won at least five GPs per season over the past eight years, across three categories: 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. He is the first rider to achieve this distinction in the 69-year history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing. Previously, Mike Hailwood was the only man to have achieved at least five victories per season over seven years, across at least three classes, between 1961 and 1967.

– Marquez’s current tally of eight 2017 pole positions extends his modern-era pole record to an incredible 73 poles across all three classes.

Marc Marquez bio:

2017

Marc Marquez’s start to the 2017 MotoGP Championship as defending World Champion was not an easy one. While Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales began the season with two consecutive victories, Marc scored fourth place at the season opener in Qatar and then crashed out of the Argentine GP while leading lap four by over two seconds. Never, since advancing from Moto2 to MotoGP in 2013, had Marquez failed to post at least one win in the first two races, nor had he found himself as low as eighth place in the Championship. Nonetheless, round three in Austin was once again entirely a Marc Marquez affair. Taking his first win of the season, the Spaniard completed a perfect weekend, emerging victorious at Circuit of the Americas for the fifth-straight timeafter starting from pole position.

Then, in Europe for the first time of the season, Marquez scored a second-place result at Jerez behind teammate Dani Pedrosa, moving up to third in the standings, just four points down on provisional leader Valentino Rossi and two off of runner-up Maverick Viñales. The French and Italian Grand Prix events comprised two additional challenging venues. The 24-year-old encountered his second “zero” of the season when he crashed at Le Mans, and he just managed to take sixth at Mugello, where he struggled to manage front-tyre life for the entire race. Heading to the Catalan GP, Marc was fourth in the Championship, 37 points behind leader Viñales.

Marquez’s second recovery began with a podium finish in scorching-hot conditions at his second home race of the year. Five crashes in the lead up to the Catalan GP wasn’t the best weekend but Marc held it together in the race to cross the line in second, a result that lifted him to third in the Championship standings, just 23 points off the top. Marc then took a crucial third place at TT Assen which, combined with a DNF for Viñales, reduced to 11 points his gap to the top of what was proving to be an incredibly close Championship, even if he was still in fourth place behind Andrea Dovizioso, Viñales, and Rossi. Assen represented the 94th career podium for Marc and the 400th for the Repsol Honda Team. One week later, Marquez’s second win of 2017—and his eighth in a row at the Sachsenring, after starting from pole position—allowed him to head into the summer break leading the Championship for the first time of the season, with a small advantage of five points over fellow countryman Viñales.

When the action resumed in Brno, Marc took his second-consecutive victory, in challenging conditions. It was a flag-to-flag race, the sixth such event of Marquez’s career that he was able to master perfectly, the others having occurred at Assen 2014, Sachsenring 2014, Misano 2015, Argentine 2016, Sachsenring 2016.

On this occasion he found himself struggling soon after the lights went off, having fit a soft rear tyre that he didn’t feel at ease with on a drying track. He therefore decided to swap motorcycles quite early and entered the pit on lap two, when his team was prepared with his second bike, fitted with slick tyres. The decision allowed Marquez to pull a significant gap on his opponents, and he managed it until the chequered flag. The win extended his championship lead to 14 points on Viñales.

At the Austrian GP, Marc scored his fifth-consecutive podium result, just losing the victory to Andrea Dovizioso after a great battle that lasted until the last corner. Unfortunately, at the subsequent British Grand Prix, Marc suffered a technical problem that forced him to retire, putting the Italian, who won the race, at the top of the standings. With the title contenders now starting to reduce to a twosome, Marquez rebounded yet again, taking consecutive victories at the next two rounds in San Marino and Aragon and re-establishing himself as the championship leader.

Marquez and Dovizioso arrived in Japan for the first of three-consecutive flyaways with just 14 points separating them, and put on a stunning showdown at Twin Ring Motegi. In pouring rain, they staged an epic duel, fighting to the last corner of the final lap, and despite the best efforts of the reigning Champion, it was Dovizioso who emerged victorious from “Victory” corner, while Marc was an incredibly close second for his 100th career podium.

Marc arrived at the Australian Grand Prix still leading the standings by 11 points over Dovi, both having won five races apiece. It was crucial for the Repsol Honda man to try and take advantage at what is one of his favourite tracks, and he didn’t miss the opportunity, putting on a stellar performance to secure a crucial victory that extended his Championship lead to 269 points, 33 ahead of Dovizioso who, despite his 13th place, remained his only rival for the Title.

Sepang has never been one of Marc’s favourite track but the young Spaniard managed to score a solid fourth place at the Malaysian wet race which, combined with the achievements of Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow, earned Honda the 2017 MotoGP Constructor title. It was the manufacturer’s 23rd such crown in history, and the sixth out of the last seven seasons.

With Dovizioso winning the race in front of Jorge Lorenzo and Johan Zarco, Marc arrived at the season finale in Valencia leading the standings by 21 points over the Italian.

Since the World Championship series was introduced in 1949, this was the 18th occasion in which the premier-class title went down to the final race of the year (including 1993 when, strictly speaking, the title went down to the last round with Kevin Schwantz leading injured Wayne Rainey by 18 points).

Taking the third place in Valencia Marc made history by becoming the youngest-ever rider to win four premier-class Riders World Championships, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 25 years and 107 days old when he won his fourth premier-class title in 1965.

 

The 2016 season positively proved that Marc Marquez is a fast learner. He approached his fourth MotoGP campaign with a new mentality, vowing that he would fight for the win or the podium when possible and would minimize the damage when the odds were against him. Consistency was the key to a season for which the introduction of unified electronics and a switch from Bridgestone to Michelin tyres shook the field up and made the racing more unpredictable than ever.

After a demanding preseason that produced mixed results for the Repsol Honda Team, Marc started the Championship in a positive way, climbing the third step of the podium at the season opener in Qatar. In Argentina Marc and the team took their revenge on the 2013 Australian mix-up, scoring an awesome victory in another tyre-issue-affected race that—despite taking place in dry conditions—was run in a flag-to-flag format with a compulsory stop to change motorcycles. One week later he scored his fourth successive Austin win from pole, making it his 10th victory in a row on American soil. With this success, Marc also overtook Kevin Schwantz in number of victories in the premier class, with 26.

Back in Europe for the first race on home turf, Marc realized that trying to win was too risky and wisely settled for third behind title rivals Rossi and Lorenzo. In France he wasn’t able to avoid crashing on lap seven while fighting for second but re-joined the race in last place and finished 13th. The Italian GP was a first important turning point in the season, as Rossi retired with an engine failure. Marc engaged Lorenzo in a spectacular duel for victory on the final lap, and he lost it at the line by mere 19 thousandths of a second. The Catalan GP two weeks later dealt a cruel blow to the riders and the whole MotoGP movement, as 24-year-old Moto2 Spanish rider Luis Salom lost his life after crashing during the second free practice. The event continued in accordance with the wishes of Salom’s family, and Marc and Dani both finished on the podium, in second and third respectively, in the race that won by Rossi, with Lorenzo retiring after being involved in a race incident.

Two weeks later, the Dutch TT was red-flagged due to heavy rain. Marc got off well on the second start but ran wide and dropped back to third behind Dovizioso and Rossi; after the two Italians fell ahead of him and with Lorenzo back in 10th place, Marc gave up a fight for the victory with fellow Honda rider Jack Miller, in order to avoid the risk of throwing away a vital second-place finish. Bad weather continued to affect the action during the next race in Germany, halfway into the season. Following an earlier downpour, the young Spaniard was struggling on a surface that was drying progressively and dropped back to ninth place after swerving off the track, but he never lost his nerve and changed to slick tyres before everyone else, beginning an incredible recovery from 14th position to take his seventh win in a row at the Sachsenring Circuit. The result was Marquez heading into the summer break with a healthy 48-point lead over Lorenzo in the Championship classification.

The action resumed in August, with a tight schedule of four races in five weeks that saw Marc putting into best practice his new strategy. He managed to finish fifth in the Ducati-dominated Austrian GP, took third in the Czech GP and, not perfectly comfortable with his choice of tyres in both the British and Misano GPs, scored two fourth-place finishes, the latter in a race dominated by teammate Pedrosa. At the same time, Lorenzo dropped back in third, 61 points off the top, while Rossi reduced his standings deficit to 43 points. Marc knew that more favourable tracks were about to come, and his home GP at Aragón was circled in red in his personal calendar. He didn’t miss the opportunity, taking the 64th pole of his Grand Prix career during Saturday’s qualifying, equalling Lorenzo for most career poles in history, and scoring a momentous victory on Sunday ahead Lorenzo and Rossi, bringing his career tally to 54 wins and equalling, at just 23 years of age, Australian legend Mick Doohan. Marc also moved to 52 points clear of the Italian in the standings, and 66 ahead of his countryman. With a maximum of 100 points available across the season’s remaining four races, there was an outside chance that Marquez could win the Championship at Honda’s home race in Japan and he took it winning his first-ever MotoGP race at Twin Ring Motegi on Honda’s home asphalt and therefore securing the 2016 MotoGP title. 

 

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