Masterful Marquez retains MotoGP title

Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:26am EDT
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(Reuters) - Marc Marquez retained his MotoGP title with a fighting second place finish in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, the dominant Spaniard securing a fourth global title in five years at his Honda team's home Motegi circuit.

By claiming 20 points for a second-place finish, the 21-year-old stretched his championship lead over Italian Valentino Rossi of Yamaha and his team mate and compatriot Dani Pedrosa to an unassailable 82 points with three races remaining.

"I am really happy to win the title on Honda's home circuit and I offer my thanks to my family and to the team for giving me the best material and motivation to win the world title," an elated Marquez told reporters.

Yamaha's double former world champion Jorge Lorenzo claimed victory on the day 1.638 seconds ahead of Marquez, who overtook Rossi with eight laps remaining and held off the Italian to secure the title. Pedrosa finished fourth.

It was the second consecutive win for Spaniard Lorenzo after his victory in the rain-hit Aragon Grand Prix last month.

Catalan Marquez continues to blaze a trail through every class he has raced in, first winning the 125cc title in 2010, then the Moto2 crown in 2012 before claiming back-to-back MotoGP titles.

He could have settled the championship earlier in the season after registering a record-equaling 10 consecutive wins but crashes in San Marino and Alcaniz in the last two races delayed his coronation.

"It's difficult to explain right now but I have been in MotoGP for two years and won two titles. It is incredible and something I could not have imagined," Marquez said, adding that he was under pressure after the last two crashes.

"I am in like a dream, it's incredible."   Continued...

Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi (R) of Italy and Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo (L) of Spain pour champagne on Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez (C) of Spain after the Japanese Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Motegi, north of Tokyo October 12, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai