Marc Marquez has been crowned MotoGP world champion for a fourth time after finishing third in a drama-filled final race at Valencia in Spain.

Marquez is now the youngest ever rider to win four premier class titles and six world championships over all classes, during a period of only ten years.

The Repsol Honda rider’s team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, won a compelling race from sensational rookie Johann Zarco on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, with Marquez’s only title threat – Andrea Dovizioso – failing to finish the race after crashing into the gravel at Turn 8 with six laps to go. The Italian’s Ducati team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, also came off at Turn 5 on the same lap as he held third ahead of Dovizioso.

Lorenzo sat in fourth place in front of Dovizioso for much of the race and ignored repeated messages to move over and allow his team-mate through, denying him the chance to exert some extra pressure from behind on Marquez.

Newly crowned champion Marquez saved a huge moment at Turn 1 when he ran in hot on the brakes after passing Zarco for the lead with eight laps remaining. He somehow avoiding falling but lost a lot of time as he negotiated his way out of the gravel, re-joining the race in fifth.

Two laps later, the race was over for Lorenzo and Dovizioso when they were involved in separate incidents as they attempted to force their way into contention for victory.

With Dovizioso out, Marquez had secured the title regardless of what unfolded and the 24-year-old brought his Honda home in a safe third.

A battle raged at the front between Zarco and Pedrosa, who was now unshackled after playing a brilliant supporting role behind Marquez for the majority of the race, acting as a buffer between his team-mate and Ducati pair Lorenzo and Dovizioso.

Zarco was determined to try and win his maiden race in his rookie season in the premier class, but Pedrosa had other ideas. The 32-year-old had attempted a pass five laps from the end at the final corner but ran wide, allowing Zarco back into the lead.

However, he lined up Zarco at the start of the final lap and made his move on the brakes into Turn 1, successfully defending his line and holding off the Yamaha rider into the all-important Turn 2.

Pedrosa managed to open a slight gap and denied Zarco the chance to hit back as he held on to clinch victory in the final race of the 2017 championship by three tenths of a second.

Marquez crossed the line ten seconds behind as he celebrated his fourth MotoGP title, with Suzuki’s Alex Rins taking fourth after narrowly getting the better of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha).

Andrea Iannone, who started from the front row, completed the top six on the second of the factory Ecstar Suzuki machines followed by Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda).

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro and Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda) finalised the top ten, with Maverick Vinales struggling to 12th on the Movistar Yamaha behind Red Bull KTM’s Bradley Smith.

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