Newly-crowned MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez has hailed his title success in Valencia as a 'dream come true'.
The Repsol Honda prodigy kept a cool head to finish third behind Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo
and team-mate Dani Pedrosa
in Spain in a tense but thrilling finale.
Outgoing champion Lorenzo adopted stalling tactics in the first third of the race in an effort to allow the chasing pack to close up to the lead group and challenge Marquez, but the plan ultimately failed and Lorenzo eventually abandoned his strategy and powered clear for his eighth victory of the season.
Marquez rode with maturity to claim the final place on the rostrum, clinching the championship by four points to become the youngest ever premier class champion in MotoGP history and the first rookie to achieve the feat since 'King' Kenny Roberts
“We are so proud about our first season in MotoGP. It is a dream come true to be champion, earlier than we expected,” said Marquez.
“We just say thanks to Honda, my team and all the people that help me. I just want to enjoy this moment.
“What I said yesterday was true - I said Jorge would be first, Dani second and me third!”
Reflecting on the final race of the 2013 championship at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, Marquez admitted he was somewhat anxious during the opening laps as Lorenzo and Pedrosa battled it out ahead of him for the lead.
“In the first ten laps I was a little nervous and stiff on the bike. I was not able to ride in my usual style because Jorge and Dani were fighting and in front of all those fans it was difficult to wait in third,” he said.
“Something inside me said 'you need to fight'. But anyway I was quite clever and understood that the championship was much more important than one race.
“After Jorge and Dani went wide I was into first place, and when I heard the engine of Jorge and I thought 'OK, you go first'. Because I saw that he was fighting so hard today and it was not my fight. We will have more races in the future.
“It felt like the longest race in my career,” Marquez admitted. “Especially the last lap I was so careful. I didn't push a lot in the race and even like that I could finish third.”