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Lorenzo wins, but Marquez crowned world champion

10 November 2013

Marc Marquez has been crowned the youngest MotoGP World Champion in history after a mature ride to third place in the final race of 2013 in Valencia.

The 20-year-old crossed the finishing line with his arms held high, sparking wild scenes of celebration at the Spanish venue.

The race was won by title rival Jorge Lorenzo on the Factory Yamaha from Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Marquez becomes the first rookie to win the premier class title since American legend Kenny Roberts in 1978 following a sensational debut year at the pinnacle of world motorcycle racing.

“I cannot explain what I feel – it's a dream come true and I maybe didn't expect to fight for the championship in the first year,” said Marquez.

“Jorge did a very good job but thanks to all my team.”

Outgoing champion Lorenzo, who deliberately slowed the pace in the opening stages of the race in an attempt to allow the chasing riders to join the leading group and challenge Marquez, added: “I tried on the first seven to ten laps to slow down the group, but when I saw that the other riders didn't catch the group, then I tried to go away and win this race.

“Marc has been a deserving champion and today is his day.”

Lorenzo, who broke his collarbone at Assen and underwent a second surgery after re-damaging it next time in Germany, won eight of the 18 races, with six wins for Marquez. Lorenzo lost out on a third title by just four points.

Valentino Rossi finished the race in fourth position with the top six completed by Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl, with Bradley Smith - who qualified in sixth - ending the race in seventh place.

There was disappointment for Cal Crutchlow in his final race for the Yamaha Tech 3 team prior to his move to Ducati as the 28-year-old crashed out unhurt.

Lorenzo made a flying start as he powered into the lead from Honda pair Pedrosa and Marquez, with Rossi right in the mix in fourth.

It soon became clear that Lorenzo, rather than putting the hammer down to break away from the field in his customary manner, was adopting stalling tactics on the M1 in a bid to slow the pace at the front and allow the chasing riders to catch up to Marquez.

Mindful that Marquez only needed a top four finish to secure the championship, it was a last throw of the dice for Lorenzo and Yamaha and resulted in a gripping opening to the series finale.

Lorenzo and Pedrosa became embroiled in a battle for the lead, swapping places continuously in the opening laps with Marquez keeping a watching brief in third place.

On lap seven, Pedrosa took the lead at Turn 8 before Lorenzo forced his way through three corners later.

At the end of the lap, Pedrosa nosed ahead once more but Lorenzo made an aggressive pass at the final corner and there was contact between the pair.

There was more drama on lap 10 when Pedrosa seized the lead on the brakes at Turn 1, but Lorenzo forced the Honda rider wide as they barged handlebars, allowing Marquez into the lead for the first time in the race.

Pedrosa re-joined the action in fifth place as Race Direction announced the move would be investigated.

Lorenzo quickly re-took the lead from Marquez a lap later but the title favourite showed his racer's spirit as he responded at Turn 8, briefly taking the lead again before running slightly wide, allowing Lorenzo through.

It seemed that Lorenzo gave up on his strategy of slackening the pace at this point in the race as the Spaniard apparently ignored signals from his pit crew to slow down as he gradually edged away in the lead.

Rossi took third place from Bautista at the beginning of lap 12 as Pedrosa followed suit and began to set his sights on the nine-time world champion.

He overhauled Rossi for third on lap 14 and set a new lap record in 1m 31.628s as he reeled in Marquez, eventually taking second place five laps from the finish as Lorenzo continued to dominate from the front.

Lorenzo coasted home for his eighth victory of the season but conceded his crown to Marquez, whose third place finish behind Pedrosa sealed the title by four points.

Rossi took fourth with Bautista and Stefan Bradl the top six.

Smith crossed the line in seventh, with Hayden the leading Ducati ride rider in eighth place from team-mate Andrea Dovizioso and Michele Pirro.

Andrea Iannone was a faller in the closing stages as he battled for a top ten place.

Aleix Espargaro was again the top CRT rider in 11th position, fending off a strong challenge from Hector Barbera.

Valencia MotoGP:
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Marc Marquez
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Alvaro Bautista
6. Stefan Bradl
7. Bradley Smith
8. Nicky Hayden
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Michele Pirro
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Hector Barbera
13. Claudio Corti
14. Danilo Petrucci
15. Colin Edwards
16. Hiroshi Aoyama
17. Michael Laverty
18. Luca Scassa
19. Bryan Staring
20. Martin Bauer
Andrea Iannone
Randy De Puniet
Cal Crutchlow
Yonny Hernandez
Lukas Pesek
Damian Cudlin


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