Marquez claims fifth MotoGP world title
MARC Marquez wrapped his fifth MotoGP world championship in just six years thanks to another stunning victory in the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.
The 25-year-old Spaniard cruised to victory at the home of Honda after his main contender Andrea Dovizioso crashed his Ducati on the second-last lap.
Marquez now has a total of seven world titles to his name after triumphs in the Moto2 and Moto3 categories.
The Honda factory rider becomes the youngest rider to win five premier class titles and will now travel to Phillip Island for the Australian GP next weekend for a victory parade.
"I'm really happy. I attacked Dovi before the last lap because I felt I had more,'' Marquez said.
Brit Cal Crutchlow held off Alex Rins's Suzuki to make it a Honda one-two, and Italian Valentino Rossi was fourth on the factory Yamaha.
Dovizioso had led for most of the 24-lap race, yielding the lead to Marquez with four laps to go, setting up yet another epic encounter between the title leaders.
But Dovizioso's soft front tyre slipped away on the tight turn 10, enabling Marquez to skip away to an unassailable championship lead.
Aussie Jack Miller started from third on the grid but a gamble on a soft rear tyre on his Ducati didn't pay off and he couldn't stay with the front-runners, slipping to seventh and then crashing out after 10 laps.
A wrist injury incurred forced Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo out of the Motegi race and also next weekend's Australian GP.
A replacement rider for his factory machine has yet to be announced, but Casey Stoner has already been ruled. Miller could be one option but his Alma Pramac team would need a suitable replacement.
In the Japanese Moto2 race, Aussie Remy Gardner just missed out on the points, placing 16th of 28 finishers.