Marc Marquez wins Japan MotoGP, Honda takes constructor's title

Marquez's third Japan GP win brought up his 54th career win at Motegi, equalling former World Champion Mick Doohan's all-time record.

Team Repsol Honda won the Premier Class Constructors Championship for a record 25th time.

Honda won the Premier Class Constructors Championship for a record 25th time.   -  Special Arrangement

Team Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was a bit bothered about the choice of tyres. But, he finally managed to pick the right ones to finish on top in the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at the toasty Twin Ring Circuit here on Sunday.

It was the Spaniard’s fourth win in a row and it turned out to be vital for his team as it clinched the Constructors title.

READ : The marque of Marquez: Six-time MotoGP champion hailed by greats

Marquez had earlier set the fastest time (1:45.816) in the warm up to the race. His timing was the only sub -1:46 in the 20 minute session. Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rin matched his pace as well but could never catch up with him. That clearly pointed out to a close race in the premier class.

And, when it all began, pole sitter Marquez further grew in confidence to go for the victory. He knew the Yamaha boys could be the big threat. Quatararo challenged him for a brief period overtaking him in Turn 7 in the first lap. But Marquez shot back into the lead at the very next turn. It was a late lunge but from there he never gave an inch to win the race in a commanding manner.

As soon as he took the lead in first corner, leaning wide at 165kph, the six-time champion further pushed for the lead and from there controlled both the pace and the race like a real master. The 26-year-old touched a speed of a little over 300 and maintained that from lights to flag.

What stands out about Marquez is that he never gives up on speed. It can be the toughest of challenges but he makes it look so easy.

Quartararo, the newly crowned rookie of the year, must have learnt a bit watching the world champion from behind. In fact, he gave up midway through as Marquez had already taken a two-second lead. But he still had to keep himself busy as Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso was screaming behind for most part. But the former held his nerves to finish second. Dovizioso was nevertheless pleased having notched a ton of podiums.

“The strategy was clear that I had to push from the beginning and, I did just that. I tried to open the gap as I felt strong in the warm-up. From there, I started to play with the switch. I also had to think of many things while on the move but we managed to finish ahead,” said Marquez after the race.

“The team did a great job and I am thankful to them,” he added.

Marquez equalled Mick Doohan with his 54th career MotoGP victory after winning at Motegi.

After wrapping up another premier class title in Thailand last time out, Marquez made history by claiming pole position at Motegi, meaning he had earned pole at every circuit on the sport's calendar.

It was an exhibition for Marquez, who left the chasing pack in his wake and sealed a 21st successive finish inside the top-two positions.

Quartararo finished nine tenths adrift to be Marquez's nearest challenger as the Yamaha rider clinched the Rookie of the Year.


TOP 10

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) +0.870secs
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +1.325s
4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) +2.608s
5. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) +9.140s
6. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) +9.187s
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +9.306s
8. Joar Mir (Suzuku Ecstar) +10.695s
9. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +14.216s
10. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +18.909s

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 350
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 231 (-119)
3. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 176 (-174)
4. Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 176 (-174)
5. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 169 (-181)

Teams

1. Ducati 400
2. Repsol Honda 383 (-17)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 321 (-79)
4. Petronas Yamaha 263 (-137)
5. Suzuki Ecstar 246 (-154)

(The writer is Motegi on the invitation of Honda India Racing).

With inputs from Omnisport