Spaniard Marc Márquez becomes youngest-ever MotoGP Champion after finishing third at Valencia.
At 20 years, 266 days, Márquez became the youngest-ever MotoGP World Champion after a phenomenal debut season drew to a close with a tense decider at Valencia. Jorge Lorenzo, his only remaining rival for the crown and the defending World Champion, took victory but it was not enough to deny Márquez his place in history.
The tension that had built up prior to the race was keenly felt throughout the first half of the 30-lap encounter, with plenty happening on track to ensure that all those with a vested interest were kept on the edge of their seats.
Jorge Lorenzo slows the pace
Jorge Lorenzo led off from the start as he beat pole man Marc Márquez to the first turn, with Márquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa also coming past to demote the youngster to third position. That was still enough for Márquez to seal the title as things stood, but it was clear that eventuality was never going to be enough to satisfy.
The early fight for the lead played out between Lorenzo and Pedrosa, with the pair frequently swapping top spot while Márquez sat back and observed. With Álvaro Bautista and Valentino Rossi in hot pursuit, it was far from a comfortable ride for the Champion-elect however, who knew that a slight change in the race order could shake things up.
Lorenzo and Pedrosa touch
Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa upped the ante as things got forceful between the pair, the climax coming on lap nine when Lorenzo forced his way up the inside of Pedrosa. They touched and Pedrosa nearly dropped the bike but managed to keep it up, with Márquez able to power through into second as Pedrosa dropped to fifth.
At that point, Lorenzo's tactic of bringing others into the mix to try and disrupt Márquez's race rhythm went out of the window, with the Yamaha rider instead deciding to simply pull the pin and build a gap at the front. It was far from simple, though, as Márquez pushed hard and gave his compatriot a tough time.
Marc Márquez secures MotoGP title with third position
Lorenzo did eventually begin to pull away, and when Pedrosa made up ground on Marc Márquez after recovering from his earlier scare, the Honda team-mates came up against one another. Pedrosa came through without major incident to take second, and it appeared clear that Márquez was by now prepared to settle for a podium in order to secure he ultimate prize.
Lorenzo crossed the line four seconds clear of Pedrosa, but the day belonged to Márquez, who by taking third sealed his place in history as the youngest-ever premier class Champion.