Valentino Rossi was quick to offer his 'great congratulations' to newly crowned double MotoGP champion Marc Marquez at Motegi on Sunday.

The Italian played a pivotal role in the title outcome - Marquez only able to wrap up the championship when he passed Rossi for second place with nine laps to go.

Marquez began the race needing to beat both his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Movistar Yamaha's Rossi to be crowned with three rounds remaining.

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While Pedrosa was never a threat to the #93, Rossi spent much of the race ahead of Marquez and successfully retaliated when the young Spaniard first attempted to pass. However there was no reversing Marquez's next manoeuvre - although Rossi remained just one second behind, in a race won by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

"I had a small chance to keep the party open for the championship," said Rossi. "For sure it is not very important because Marc's advantage was very big, but to keep it open for another week would be better. So I tried the maximum, also because I had Pedrosa behind who at the end of the race was maybe faster.

"I tried to come back on Marc, but when Marc understood that I was close and still had something more to give. Anyway I am happy and satisfied about the work because this was one of the most high-level races of the season. From the beginning to the end we were always on the lap record, nobody made any mistakes and at the end the pace remained fantastic. I'm proud to arrive very close to Jorge and Marc, but unfortunately it was not enough."

Rossi added: "Marc deserves the championship and we just have to say to him a great congratulations because he was able to win a lot of races. He has won in all sorts of different conditions and he was able to improve his level from last year."

Reflecting on Marquez's stunning two seasons in the premier-class, Rossi revealed that - despite the 21-year-old winning eleven of the 15 races this year and improving even further as a rider - he still feels that Marquez's rookie triumph was most impressive.

"Sincerely, for me personally Marc was more impressive last year than this year, because to win the title in his first season was fantastic," said the seven time MotoGP champion, who finished runner-up in his rookie 2000 premier-class season.

"Marc is a rider who is fast from the beginning with everything, so he is naturally talented to ride every type of bike. The question at the end of last year for his rivals was how much he can improve compared to the first season, because usually from the rookie season to the second season the good riders improve a lot.

"Unfortunately for us he was able to improve - not a lot about the speed, but about the riding style, the way to use the bike, the way to brake, the way to accelerate and especially compared to last year he remained very aggressive. But now it looks like the situation is more under control for him. Last year sometimes he risked too much, you know."

Could Marquez now go on to match Rossi's tally of seven MotoGP titles?

"I think he has one championship more than me at the same age, because he was able to win in his first season. Unfortunately with the 500 I didn't trust to win [the title as a rookie] and in the end I arrived just in second place," replied Rossi.

"So he has an advantage at the moment and I hope that in the future he will lose this advantage so he will not be able to win more than me! But this is a chance yes, he could win more [championships] than me."

While the 2014 title fight is decided, Rossi is now tied with Pedrosa for second place, with Lorenzo just three points behind.

"It is not for the world championship, but this battle for second place will be at a very high level because it is between me, Jorge and Dani. All three of us are very fast and the setting of the bike is at the maximum," Rossi said.

"I'm very worried especially about Jorge because, also Dani is fast, but Jorge looks like he's in great shape and he's now won a second race. But the target is also to try to win more races by the end of the season."

This year's 15 wins have been split 11 for Marquez, 2 for Lorenzo and 1 each for Rossi and Pedrosa. Three rounds remain, starting at Phillip Island next weekend.