Marc Marquez seals 2018 MotoGP championship after Japan victory

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez YouTube/ MOTOGP

Reigning FIA MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez sealed the 2018 world championship after claiming a stunning victory at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday. The 25-year-old Spaniard has been crowned with three races to spare in the season and it's his third championship on the trot.

With another championship in his bag, the Repsol Honda rider is now a five-time world champion (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018) and is on par with former MotoGP rider Mick Doohan. The only two riders ahead of Marquez to become the most successful MotoGP rider of all time in terms of championships are Valentino Rossi (7) and Giacomo Agostini (8).

The victory in Japan gave Marc Marquez his eighth win of the season at his team's home track. Marquez had a sensational race in Motegi and finished the line after a race-long battle with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), the only championship rival this season.

Dovizioso had a perfect start from P1 while Marquez started the race at P6. The Spaniard quickly moved up to P3 and then passed Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) P2 at Turn 9 later on the opening lap.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez YouTube grab

Marquez then settled in P2 till lap 14 to make his first move, passing Dovizioso at Turn 9. The lead was short-lived as a mistake from him allowed the Italian to go back in front before he again passed Dovizioso on lap 21.

The duel between Marquez and Dovizioso guaranteed a nail-biting finish for the 24-lap race. However, disaster struck to Dovizioso as he slid to the gravel at Turn 10 with just two laps to the chequered flag.

That left Marquez to finish the race in style handing the title to the number 93. Dovizioso's crash left Cal Crutchlow advancing to P2 and the LCR Honda rider finished ahead of Alex Rins (Suzuki). Rins was less than two tenths behind Crutchlow to secure a phenomenal home podium for Suzuki.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) brought his YZR-M1 home in a second consecutive P4, with Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) claiming P5 in Japan.

2018 MotoGP championship standings

  1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) - 296 points
  2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – 194 points
  3. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) – 185 points
  4. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) – 155 points
  5. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) – 148 points
  6. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) – 133 points
  7. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) – 133 points
  8. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) – 130 points
  9. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) – 118 points
  10. Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar) – 113 points