Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez is the 2017 MotoGP World Champion after taking the third place in Grand Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. At 24-years old, Marquez is now the youngest ever rider to win four premier-class World Championship titles and six World Championships over all classes, during a period of only ten years of World Championship racing. Marquez has now equalled Jim Redman and Geoff Duke’s tally of 6 World Titles in his career. Here are the highlights of the Marc Marquez 2017 World Championship win:
Here are the highlights of the Marc Marquez 2017 World Championship win:
Marquez is the youngest-ever rider to win four premier-class World Championships, at the age of 24 years and 268 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 25 years and 107 days old when he won his fourth premier-class title in 1965.
Marquez is also the youngest rider of all-time to reach the milestone of six World Championships, taking the record from Valentino Rossi, who was 25 years and 244 days old when he won his sixth title, the 2004 MotoGP crown.
Marquez has won all his MotoGP titles riding Honda motorcycles. The only Honda rider to have won more premier-class world title is Mick Doohan, who won five premier-class titles in the 1990s.
Only one Spanish rider has won more world titles than Marquez: Angel Nieto, who won 13 World Championships (seven in the 125cc class and six in the 50cc class) between 1969 and 1984.
Marquez has won at least five GPs per season over the past eight years, across three categories: 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. He is the first rider to achieve this distinction in the 69-year history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing. Previously, Mike Hailwood was the only man to have achieved at least five victories per season over seven years, across at least three classes, between 1961 and 1967.
Marquez’s current tally of eight 2017 pole positions extends his modern-era pole record to an incredible 73 poles across all three classes.
Marc Marquez’s start to the 2017 MotoGP Championship as defending World Champion was not an easy one. While Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales began the season with two consecutive victories, Marc scored fourth place at the season opener in Qatar and then crashed out of the Argentine GP while leading lap four by over two seconds. Never, since advancing from Moto2 to MotoGP in 2013, had Marquez failed to post at least one win in the first two races, nor had he found himself as low as eighth place in the Championship. Nonetheless, round three in Austin was once again entirely a Marc Marquez affair. Taking his first win of the season, the Spaniard completed a perfect weekend, emerging victorious at Circuit of the Americas for the fifth-straight time, after starting from pole position.
Then, in Europe for the first time of the season, Marquez scored a second-place result at Jerez behind teammate Dani Pedrosa, moving up to third in the standings, just four points down on provisional leader Valentino Rossi and two off of runner-up Maverick Viñales. The French and Italian Grand Prix events comprised two additional challenging venues. The 24-year-old encountered his second “zero” of the season when he crashed at Le Mans, and he just managed to take sixth at Mugello, where he struggled to manage front-tyre life for the entire race. Heading to the Catalan GP, Marc was fourth in the Championship, 37 points behind leader Viñales.
Marquez’s second recovery began with a podium finish in scorching-hot conditions at his second home race of the year. Five crashes in the lead up to the Catalan GP wasn’t the best weekend but Marc held it together in the race to cross the line in second, a result that lifted him to third in the Championship standings, just 23 points off the top. Marc then took a crucial third place at TT Assen which, combined with a DNF for Viñales, reduced to 11 points his gap to the top of what was proving to be an incredibly close Championship, even if he was still in fourth place behind Andrea Dovizioso, Viñales, and Rossi. Assen represented the 94th career podium for Marc and the 400th for the Repsol Honda Team. One week later, Marquez’s second win of 2017—and his eighth in a row at the Sachsenring, after starting from pole position—allowed him to head into the summer break leading the Championship for the first time of the season, with a small advantage of five points over fellow countryman Viñales.
When the action resumed in Brno, Marc took his second-consecutive victory, in challenging conditions. It was a flag-to-flag race, the sixth such event of Marquez’s career that he was able to master perfectly, the others having occurred at Assen 2014, Sachsenring 2014, Misano 2015, Argentine 2016, Sachsenring 2016. On this occasion he found himself struggling soon after the lights went off, having fit a soft rear tyre that he didn’t feel at ease with on a drying track. He therefore decided to swap motorcycles quite early and entered the pit on lap two, when his team was prepared with his second bike, fitted with slick tyres. The decision allowed Marquez to pull a significant gap on his opponents, and he managed it until the chequered flag. The win extended his championship lead to 14 points on Viñales.
At the Austrian GP, Marc scored his fifth-consecutive podium result, just losing the victory to Andrea Dovizioso after a great battle that lasted until the last corner. Unfortunately, at the subsequent British Grand Prix, Marc suffered a technical problem that forced him to retire, putting the Italian, who won the race, at the top of the standings. With the title contenders now starting to reduce to a twosome, Marquez rebounded yet again, taking consecutive victories at the next two rounds in San Marino and Aragon and re-establishing himself as the championship leader. Marquez and Dovizioso arrived in Japan for the first of three-consecutive flyaways with just 14 points separating them, and put on a stunning showdown at Twin Ring Motegi. In the pouring rain, they staged an epic duel, fighting to the last corner of the final lap, and despite the best efforts of the reigning Champion, it was Dovizioso who emerged victorious from “Victory” corner, while Marc was an incredibly close second for his 100th career podium.
Marc arrived at the Australian Grand Prix still leading the standings by 11 points over Dovi, both having won five races apiece. It was crucial for the Repsol Honda man to try and take advantage at what is one of his favourite tracks, and he didn’t miss the opportunity, putting on a stellar performance to secure a crucial victory that extended his Championship lead to 269 points, 33 ahead of Dovizioso who, despite his 13th place, remained his only rival for the Title. Sepang has never been one of Marc’s favourite track but the young Spaniard managed to score a solid fourth place at the Malaysian wet race which, combined with the achievements of Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow, earned Honda the 2017 MotoGP Constructor title. It was the manufacturer’s 23rd such crown in history, and the sixth out of the last seven seasons.
With Dovizioso winning the race in front of Jorge Lorenzo and Johan Zarco, Marc arrived at the season finale in Valencia leading the standings by 21 points over the Italian. Since the World Championship series was introduced in 1949, this was the 18th occasion in which the premier-class title went down to the final race of the year (including 1993 when, strictly speaking, the title went down to the last round with Kevin Schwantz leading injured Wayne Rainey by 18 points). Taking the third place in Valencia Marc made history by becoming the youngest-ever rider to win four premier-class Riders World Championships, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 25 years and 107 days old when he won his fourth premier-class title in 1965.