2nd - Marc Marquez Average score out of ten: 8.5 Team: Repsol Honda Bike: RC213V Wins: 5 Podiums: 12 Poles: 7 Fastest Laps: 4 Championship points: 298 Championship position: 1st out of 27

Marc Marquez captured his third MotoGP title in 2016, but the young Spanish star narrowly missed out on the top spot in your Star of the Year vote.

After a long winter in which to mull over last year's six non-scores, Marquez more than compensated for Honda's early season technical struggles with a new 'settle for a podium' strategy.

It proved devastatingly effective in a season that saw a record number of falls, as riders and engineers found the limits of the unfamiliar Michelin tyres and new single ECU.

That's not to say Marquez wasn't pushing. He had to. The Spaniard felt the aggressive Honda was only the fourth best bike for acceleration and had to claw back the lost time - and more - in braking.

"For me, if we make a ranking in acceleration it would be: Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda," Marquez said at Le Mans in May.

"The problem is that we are losing a lot. But if we improve the acceleration we have one of the best bikes. It's hard because on the straight time is 'free'. It is really difficult for your mentality when you see you cannot follow the others.

"You need to recover on the brake points and riding like that for 28 laps it is easy to make a mistake."

The Spaniard fell 17 times during the season (compared with 13 last year), but usually found the limit in practice - resulting in some extraordinary saves - and went into the mid-season break as the only rider to score in every race.

Indeed, Marquez didn't suffer a DNF until after the world championship was decided in his favour, with three rounds still to go.

The lack of early season mistakes (Marquez fell in France, but remounted) is all the more remarkable given the huge gap between his results and those of the other Honda riders.

The 23-year-old finished on the podium in seven of the opening nine rounds, including three wins. During that same period, the four other Honda riders combined claimed a total of four podiums, with one win.

While the RC213V became a more competitive package in the second half of the season, producing dry victories for Pedrosa and Crutchlow, the final championship standings still ended with Marquez as the only Honda rider in the top five.

The #93's five victories were also more than any other rider this season.

Now equal with Jorge Lorenzo for premier-class titles, Marquez will be fighting to become Spain's first four-time MotoGP champion in 2017, when Honda is set to debut a more rider-friendly 'big bang' style engine.

About the vote:
Rather than repeat the riders' championship standings, Crash.net's MotoGP Star of the Year poll (which began in 2008) expects viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, riding style, experience, injuries, progress and personality as much as race results.

Over 70,000 votes were cast for the 2016 poll, with viewers awarding each of this year's participants with a mark out of ten. The average score for each rider was then used to compile the final results.

2016 MotoGP Star of the Year: Results so far 2nd Marc Marquez SPA Repsol Honda 8.5 3rd Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha 8.4 4th Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda 7.8 5th Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team 6.8 6th Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team 6.6 7th Jorge Lorenzo SPA Movistar Yamaha 6.2 8th Jack Miller AUS Marc VDS Honda 5.7 9th Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda 5.5 10th Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Ducati 5.19 Full ranking to be revealed alongside the winner.

Marc Marquez in the Crash.net MotoGP Star of the Year poll MotoGP Star of the Year 2016: 2nd MotoGP Star of the Year 2015: 5th MotoGP Star of the Year 2014: 2nd MotoGP Star of the Year 2013: 1st


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment