20-year-old Marc Marquez has become the youngest ever MotoGP World Champion and the first rookie to take the title since Kenny Roberts in 1978.
Marquez was calm under pressure, settling for a third-place finish behind title rival Jorge Lorenzo and teammate Dani Pedrosa. It appeared the youngster had the bigger picture in mind, avoiding close combat throughout the race to win the title by a margin of four points.
“It’s a dream come true, maybe too early because I didn’t expect it in the first season in MotoGP,” said Marquez. “I cannot explain what I feel. To do it in front of all our fans, to fight with Jorge and Dani – two of the best riders in MotoGP.”
Jorge Lorenzo’s late-season effort was nothing short of brilliant, winning the final three races including Sunday’s Valencia finale, but it wasn’t meant to be for the 2012 World Champion.
Lorenzo, who needed Marquez to finish outside of the top-four, tried to slow down the pace on the start to form a large pack, hoping to put several riders between himself and Marquez.
Unfortunately, Lorenzo didn’t have any support from his fellow Yamaha riders. Valentino Rossi was waged in an epic battle with Alvaro Bautista, and when Rossi finally moved into fourth, he was unable to catch the leading trio.
Tech 3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow, who was expected to battle for a podium spot, was unable to assist Lorenzo after crashing out on Lap 9.
“We tried to slow down the race in the first laps,” said Lorenzo. “The other riders apart from our three were too slow to stay in the group.
“When I looked behind and I saw the others were too far, then I felt to win the race; that’s it. We tried our best. Today, Marc is the winner. He deserved the win.”
Despite pre-season predictions that Marquez’s fearless, all or nothing riding style would result in a plethora of DNFs, the rookie only finished off the podium twice in 18 races – crashing late in Mugello and being disqualified for a pit stop error in Australia.
As for Lorenzo, injuries to his collarbone mid-season would ultimately alter his championship chase. Lorenzo broke his collarbone in a practice crash at Assen, but would ride to a fifth-place finish 48 hours later.
Two weeks later, Lorenzo crashed again in practice at Sachsenring, damaging the titanium plate he had been fitted with after suffering his injury at Assen. This forced Lorenzo to miss the race, while Marquez went on to score maximum points by winning the event.Alvaro Bautista, Cal Crutchlow, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, MotoGP, Valencia GP, Valentino Rossi, Video