Marquez wins 4th MotoGP title
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In a season that saw numerous winners on top of the podium, multiple changes in the standings, unscripted on-track dramas, and a lot of crashes, the 2017 MotoGP season has definetely lived up to the pre-season hype.
Marc Marquez, Spain’s Phenom, stood atop the championship standings with just the final race in Valencia to go.
While most of his rivals have fallen by the wayside, Andrea Dovizioso kept the fight alive until the last round of the championships.
Dovizioso needed to win at all cost to get a top 10 finish for him to take possession of the 2017 title; any other result would mean that Marquez would be king once again in MotoGP.
Saturday saw Marc take control of qualifying and his destiny by plopping his Repsol Honda in P1, with Johann Zarco in second and Andrea Iannone in third.
The race started under a sunny conditions, and it was Marc Marquez who took the holeshot to lead the pack into turn 1.
Andrea Dovizioso took his Ducati up to P5 as early as lap 2, with fellow Ducati rider Lorenzo in P4.
Fans were assuming that Lorenzo would give way to allow Andrea to fight for the win and the championship. But it wasn’t to be. Lorenzo kept the front runners in sight, with Dovi sniffing his fumes.
Zarco managed to sweep past Marquez mid-way in lap 3 to lead the race. Marc, aware that a slight error would cost him dearly, settled for second place.
Zarco kept the lead until lap 22, with Marquez and eventual winner Dani Pedrosa in P2 and P3, respectively.
Then, late in the race, a series of events that could only be described as “dramatic,” unfolded. First off was Zarco’s glaring error that easily handed the lead to the #93 Honda.
Then it was Marc’s turn. The Phenom leaned too deep, and averting disaster, managed to rejoin just behind the Ducatis of Lorenzo and Dovizioso.
This was the opportunity that Ducati were hoping for. But as fate would have it, the #99 Ducati suddenly went down on lap 24 with Andrea following his teammate into retirement with an unrecoverable trip onto the gravel trap. His title hopes dashed, Dovizioso could only take comfort with a runner-up finish in the championships.
With five laps to go, it was Zarco vs Pedrosa for the win. Zarco tried his best to keep the #26 Honda at bay, but on the last lap, Pedrosa dove for the lead in turn 1 and held on to cross the line for his second victory this season. Zarco took second, with Marc taking the last step on the podium.
The Phenom took home the coveted 2017 riders crown, and now has a total of six world championships with four coming in the premier class.
The 24-year-old from Cervera, Spain now ranks among the best riders in MotoGP history, and if the 2017 season is anything to go by, this certainly won’t be his last.