Rossi and Lorenzo crash out as Marquez wins MotoGP championship


Championship leader and Repsol Honda star Marc Marquez claimed the MotoGP title in Japan following a dramatic finale on Sunday.

The stars aligned for Marquez - who hit the front 21 laps from the end - as he claimed a third championship in four seasons with three rounds still to go after Movistar Yamaha rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo crashed out in Motegi.

Pole-setter Rossi started from the front of the grid, but Lorenzo quickly leapfrogged him after the first turn.

The Italian continued to push for second, which he achieved, until his unfortunate fall with 18 laps to go, leaving reigning champion Lorenzo standing between Marquez and another title.

Lorenzo needed to finish in the top four to prevent Marquez from being crowned champion on the weekend, but like Rossi, he dramatically crashed out with five laps remaining.

Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Vinales finished second and third respectively.



There were high hopes for Rossi after he claimed his 64th career pole position but the Italian veteran crashed out on Sunday. After going neck-and-neck with Yamaha team-mate and Marquez and forcing his way up to second, Rossi's front end washed out from underneath him at turn 10 with 18 laps remaining. While he emerged unscathed, his bike was not so fortunate in a blow to his title hopes.

Things were not much better for Lorenzo as he surrendered his crown to Marquez. A runners-up placing looked in order for Lorenzo following his fine display, which saw him storm out of the blocks. However, it all went cruelly pear-shaped after falling off his bike late in the race.



Evident in Marquez's post-race celebrations, winning the title this weekend was the furthest thing from the Spaniard's mind. But the 23-year-old put himself in a position and with some luck, albeit at the expense of his Yamaha rivals, he return to the top of MotoGP racing.