Marc Marquez has been crowned the youngest world champion in MotoGP history after finishing third in the season finale at Valencia behind Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo did everything he could to keep his hopes alive by winning the race but the 20 year old rookie followed his teammate Pedrosa home to take the title by four points.
The pattern of the Grand Prix was set right from the start by Lorenzo’s desperation to keep the Hondas behind him, mindful that only a win would do from his point of view. The Yamaha rider stormed into the lead off the line and immediately went into a fiery battle with Dani Pedrosa. The no.26 passed for the first time at the end of lap one but on every occasion, Jorge fought straight back virtually at the next corner.
Under intense pressure from Pedrosa, Lorenzo rose to a new level even by his standards and a dive up the inside of turn eleven demonstrated his desire. Dani looked to have made a decisive move when he breezed past into turn one on the tenth lap but again Jorge barrelled up the inside at the next corner, only this time he sent both way offline and allowed Marquez of all people to take the lead.
Marc only held the advantage for a lap before the no.99 Yamaha appeared on the inside at turn two again, although this time Lorenzo’s move was much cleaner. Pedrosa had been pushed back to fifth by the shenanigans moments earlier but with five laps to go, the two Repsol Hondas were line astern. With third more than good enough to crown himself champion, Marc wisely waved his teammate through and cruised home to his first MotoGP world title and surely not the last. Lorenzo’s win couldn’t go unnoticed either as the outgoing champion fought to the end with victory in each of the last three races.
Valentino Rossi was powerless to help his teammate in the end and finished an all-too-familiar fourth ahead of Alvaro Bautista while Stefan Bradl beat Bradley Smith to sixth. Seventh was a solid end to an impressive rookie season from the Briton, albeit outshone by a certain other newcomer, but Tech 3’s day was spoiled somewhat by a crash for Cal Crutchlow which prevented him from signing off with the team with a top six finish.
The Ducatis of Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso and Michele Pirro rounded out the top ten in the final race of the year while Aleix Espargaro departed Aspar in typical fashion with another CRT victory.