Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has clinched his second consecutive Championship on Honda’s home soil, becoming the first Honda rider to clinch a World title – in any class – at the Motegi circuit, with his well earned second place finish. Teammate Dani Pedrosa fought to the end and finished just half a second off the podium in 4th position.
It was a tense start to the race with both riders dropping places on the first lap. However, they gradually passed Iannone and Dovizioso and by lap fourteen Marc was 3rd with Dani behind him in 4th, chasing leaders Lorenzo and Rossi. Marc battled with Valentino on lap 15, then finally passed him on lap 16, and began to try and open a gap. Valentino didn’t let him escape and kept the pressure on him until the final lap, with Marc taking second place by just 1 second in front of Valentino and just 1.6s behind Lorenzo. He now has an 82 point lead with just 75 points left to play for in the final three rounds, gifting him the 2014 World Championship.
Marc is the youngest ever rider to win two consecutive premier-class World Championships at the age of 21 years 237 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who was 23 years 152 days when he won his second successive 500cc title in 1963. This is the third time which the MotoGP world title has been secured at the Motegi circuit (previously in 2007 with Casey Stoner, and 2008 with Valentino Rossi).
Dani is now third in the standings but tied on points with Valentino, with Jorge just 3 points behind, and will be fighting in the final three races to earn second in the World Championship. The paddock now leave Japan and head South to Australia for next week’s grand prix in Phillip Island.