Marc Marquez has paid tribute to MotoGP title rival Andrea Dovizioso, describing the Italian as ‘an incredible opponent’.

Factory Ducati rider Dovizioso took the world championship battle down to the wire at Valencia in Spain, where his race ultimately ended in disappointment after he came off the GP17 with six laps remaining.

Dovizioso needed a minor miracle to pip Marquez to the post as he trailed the Repsol Honda rider by 21 points going into the final race, but he refused to throw in the towel and Marquez says he has the utmost respect for the championship runner-up and Ducati.

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“I already said before that I am disappointed that he didn’t finish the race today because he is an incredible opponent, and incredible person, and I have a really good relationship with him,” Marquez said.

“I saw on the big screen that the Ducati guys go to my boss to congratulate, so full respect and this is very nice. I learned many things from Andrea, especially mental things: the way to approach the races, the way to approach weekends and he showed me that you need understand well and forget the others.

“This is something that not many people can do but he is one of the best ones or maybe the best one to do that.”

Marquez says he intends to make the most of his hard-earned championship success before the real work for 2018 begins at the Valencia test on Tuesday.

“Next year will be another year and at the moment until January 1st I am the world champion, but then I am just another rider. It will be a new year and we will hope to fight again for the championship and work hard during the pre-season,” he said.

“Like we saw this year, you need to pay attention to all the riders and Johann [Zarco] will be very fast, Dovi and the Ducatis – we will see how is the level of the Yamahas also. Now we will enjoy but on Tuesday starts the new season.”

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Dani won 2 races this year and finished ahead of second Yamaha factory rider in final standings despite Dani struggling with Michelins in the wet and losing his title contention. Yet there are trolls who think Dani must retire despite Dani finishing ahead of their idol overall and having two times the victories of their favorite rider. 

 

What a race by Dani. Pushing that RCV to victory after MM had an amazing save. Dani deserves a raise and another 2 years added to his contract. Sete has really turned his fortunes around this season. If only he'll have less cold tyre troubles he'll be a title threat again.

Agreed. If he can manage to sort out his troubles in lower temperatures, then he can be a real threat to the title next season. 

Dani had problems with the tyres this year but at least he stayed on most of the time and didn't succumb to any injuries. I wonder if Sete had any influence there.

Nice to see the season end with all riders happy and no petty bickering.

I reckon Marc Marquez and Andrea Doviozo are great role models for kids these days. They show fierce competition but they're still good souls and have nice attitudes. Hats off for both of yous!!

Well said......agree with you 100%.

@STANXX

Much respect for your words. You re a true sportsman. I wish more people would think like you.

See that a lot in the younger generation of MC riders.  MM is one of the biggest idols.  I can only imagine next riding season there will be even more #93 helmets out there.  4 premier class championships in 5 years.  Unbelievable skills witnessed yet again in this race.  Wow!

This race goes down as another one of my favorites.  I liked how MM approached it and pulled the trigger towards the end.  He didn't need to.  He wanted the victory.  Gutsy move.  He shows spirit and competitiveness whenever and wherever he rides.  Undisputed.  He is the 2017 world champion.

Really liked the fight between them this year. Fierce on track and very friendly off it. This is how championships should be..It shouldnt be making fans fight each other.

Another good comment, well said......agree with you 100%.

Congrats to Dani. But he is and will always be second rider in the team and he is perfect for such combination. He can win some races, mostly where his low weight can save his tired..but he is very inconsistent, and was trailing way back in many racws. Yes he managed to be 2 points ahead of injured Rossi, which struggled with new chassis. Yamaha did something wrong in this season, as we can see from times Vinales is doing compared to preseason testing. 

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