Lorenzo wins race, Marquez crowned champion at Valencia
He's done it! Marc Marquez is your new MotoGP world champion
We've all eagerly waited for this weekend, and it has turned out to be every bit the crackerjack we hoped for. Marc Marquez was poised to become the new MotoGP world champion, and after a thrilling race today, he is the new MotoGP world champion.
Jorge Lorenzo did everything he could to save his crown today - he got a brilliant start off the line, leading a pack of riders running within a second of each other, then fought valiantly with Dani Pedrosa, never letting him lead the race for more than one corner. They swapped places so many times, we lost count. Lorenzo did make contact with Pedrosa coming into Turn 1 on Lap 10, pushing the Repsol Honda wide, but that only allowed Marquez to sneak through to first place.
Lorenzo didn't even let that last very long. He overtook Marquez with ease on that very lap, and from then on, the race got a bit boring. Until Pedrosa decided he wanted to finish second, and he caught up with the championship-elect, and went past him. It still had no bearing on the outcome of the race, though, for Lorenzo had taken a lead in excess of three seconds, and the nearest threat to Marquez's championship, Valentino Rossi, was more than four seconds behind.
It was fairly simple for Marquez that moment on, really. Engage autopilot, don't fall off your bike, don't try closing your eyes and counting sheep, and you'd be the youngest-ever MotoGP world champion. He did that, and won the championship race with just four points separating him and Lorenzo.
Alvaro Bautista finished fifth, ahead of Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith. Nicky Hayden, who will be joined by Hiroshi Aoyama at Aspar next year, came home in eighth in his final race with Ducati, with team-mate Dovizioso and and Michele Pirro completing the top ten. Cal Crutchlow couldn't even finish his last race with Tech 3, falling mid-way through the race.
For the first time this season, Pedrosa rode like a man possessed. Lorenzo was no different. There couldn't have been more aggression between the two riders unless both got down to fisticuffs. Lorenzo threw everything he had at it, he tried slowing the pace, inviting Marquez to take the lead to elicit some sort of mistake, but in the end, it was all a bit too much to handle for the two-time world champion. Third time unlucky, but you have to give it up to the Mallorcan.
It's only the first time a rookie rider's won the title since 1978, and only the fourth time in MotoGP history that a rider has won the championship in his rookie season - following in Masetti, Surtees and Kenny Roberts' footsteps is Marc Marquez. He's broken a great deal of records this year, and to top it off, at 20 years old, he's now the youngest-ever MotoGP champion.
What a race it was, and what a season it has been. A bit sad that it's ended, but with the new 'open' class bikes, new riders, two new venues (Argentina and Brazil) and the prospect of the Marquez-Lorenzo rivalry blossoming into one of the competition's greatest, March 2014 can't come soon enough. For now, it's a wrap. Hope you've enjoyed this as much as we have!
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Marc Marquez
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Alvaro Bautista
6. Stefan Bradl
7. Bradley Smith
8. Nicky Hayden
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Michele Pirro
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Hector Barbera
13. Claudio Corti
14. Danilo Petrucci
15. Colin Edwards
16. Hiroshi Aoyama
17. Michael Laverty
18. Luca Scassa
19. Bryan Staring
20. Martin Bauer
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