Marc Marquez said his back-to-back wins earlier in the season at Jerez and Le Mans were the springboard for his fifth MotoGP world title in six years.

The Repsol Honda rider sealed the championship with a victory in front of his Honda bosses on Sunday at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan, claiming his eighth win of the season after Andrea Dovizioso was a faller on the penultimate lap.

Marquez said he knew from the opening round of the championship in Qatar in March that Ducati rider Dovizioso would provide his stiffest opposition, but his improved consistency enabled him to take control of the title race.

“We tried to work really hard all the season to achieve this consistency and it’s what I learned about Dovi last year – he was really good to manage the situations and this year we did a really good job together with HRC and all the staff,” Marquez said.

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“Sometimes I give a little bit more to the bike and sometimes the bike gives a little bit to me, so this compromise means that the consistency was really good during all the season. I just struggled in Mugello and this was the only big mistake I did of the season.

“Apart of that, I was able to be very constant and this was the key. Of course, in the second part of the season I was able to play with that advantage but that is not my style. I tried to enjoy it and I will try to enjoy these last few races, and enjoy fighting for the victory – this is the way to ride.”

Reflecting on the earlier part of the season, Marquez said his two wins at Jerez and Le Mans were a crucial moment in the season, with Dovizioso failing to finish either race after consecutive falls.

“Since the first race I saw that Ducati was the bike and the team to fight against. Then, the important point was Jerez and Le Mans, where I won two races in a row,” he said.

“Dovi was the guy, and also (Jorge) Lorenzo, that crashed and did not good – not many points. I gained the advantage and when you gain the advantage, everything is easier and that was the key of the season. Then I was able to be fast in every track and a bad race, a difficult race, was to finish second or third.

“After Aragon, you start to feel like you can achieve your goals. But I don’t like these kind of feelings and I try to find extra motivation and I told myself I will try to win with the first match ball in Motegi,” Marquez added.

“I tried to control and be patient behind Dovi. He was riding in a strange way, sometimes pushing, sometimes slowing down, but then I had something more in the end and I tried to give everything on these last four laps.”

Three rounds of the 2018 season still remain, and Marquez says he will celebrate his success for the rest of the year before refocusing on 2019, when he will welcome Jorge Lorenzo as his new Repsol Honda team-mate.

“Every year I have the pressure and the motivation to fight for the title. This, I hope, will be my career until the end because it means we will have the level,” he said.

“Now it is time to enjoy, we will celebrate tonight and until the 1st of January; we will just try to enjoy it. Then we will concentrate again on 2019 season and work harder to be better.”

The 25-year-old has joined Mick Doohan, Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini as one of only four riders to have taken five or more premier class titles.

 

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