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MotoGP Japan: Magic Marquez always destined for the top

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has dominated the MotoGP World Championship to become the youngest rider in history to win back-to-back premier class titles
Marc Marquez has become the youngest rider in history to win back-to-back MotoGP crowns after retaining the championship at Honda's home race at Motegi in Japan.

Marquez finished as the runner-up behind Jorge Lorenzo to become a world champion for the fourth time at the age of 21, having previously won the 125cc (2010) and Moto2 (2012) titles.

His crowing glory at the Japanese MotoGP is the highlight of a sensational season that saw the Repsol Honda rider begin the defence of his crown in unstoppable style, winning ten successive races to equal Australian legend Mick Doohan's record of straight wins set in 1997.

Marquez has won over an army of admirers with his swashbuckling style since taking MotoGP by storm as a rookie last season. He has dominated the premier class this year, winning 11 races in total and taking 11 pole positions en route to the title with three rounds still remaining at Phillip Island, Sepang and Valencia.

The Honda star is a world champion for the third straight year, sparking a dream run of success with the Moto2 title in 2012, and has been destined for the very top from an early age, wrapping up his first world crown in the 125cc class at the age of 17 in 2010 – two years after his debut appearance in Grands Prix racing.

Marquez made a flying start to the season in Qatar, coming out on top of a duel with Valentino Rossi to score a maximum 25 points at the opening round as he picked up where he left off in 2013. A dominant win at the Austin MotoGP in Texas was followed with another demoralising performance for his rivals as Marquez rallied after a poor start to claim the chequered flag in Argentina.

Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo threatened at Jerez but ultimately were powerless to halt the Marquez juggernaut and even when victory seemed out of reach even for the supremely gifted Spaniard at Le Mans, Marquez powered through from tenth position to pocket his fifth win on the trot.

A determined Lorenzo tried everything he could on the Movistar Yamaha to bring his rival's MotoGP monopoly to an end in a memorable race at Mugello, but Marquez prevailed on a gripping final lap to maintain his aura of invincibility.

He was in seventh heaven at Catalunya after overcoming team-mate Dani Pedrosa in another fabulous race and mastered the wet at Assen, where he won by almost seven seconds from Andrea Dovizioso.

In Germany, it seemed Marquez's imperious victory streak would finally be broken after he started from pit lane following a change to his dry set-up machine after the warm-up lap, but Marquez was into the lead by lap six and stayed there until the end for his ninth win of the campaign at the Sachsenring.

A milestone was reached at the Indianapolis MotoGP when he matched Doohan's feat of 10 straight premier class wins to accumulate a 250 points with eight rounds still to go.

However, Pedrosa ended talk that Marquez could win every single race in 2014, finally beating his team-mate at Brno in the Czech Republic. Marquez soon hit back to take the top spot at Silverstone at the British MotoGP after claiming his ninth pole position of the season.

Two crashes at Misano and Aragon saw Marquez collect only four points from the two rounds, but he seized his first opportunity to seal the title at Motegi, sparking wild celebrations in Honda's backyard as the inevitable title outcome was finally confirmed in a year that Marquez will remember for a long time to come.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marc and Alex Marquez, Japanese MotoGP 2014
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Crutchlow, Vinales, Australian MotoGP 2016
Maverick Vinales, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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October 12, 2014 9:31 AM

Massive achievement by Marquez - it's always been regarded as much harder to retain a championship than win it in the first place. What has happened to Pedrosa though? He used to famed for his quick starts but he seems fast asleep in recent times and only seems to wake up towards the end of races now.

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