Mon, Oct 07, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Marquez seals sixth MotoGP title

AFP, BURIRAM, Thailand

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez competes in the MotoGP Thailand Grand Prix at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Marc Marquez yesterday sealed his sixth MotoGP world title in Thailand after storming to victory in a heart-pounding final corner duel with Fabio Quartararo at the Chang International Circuit.

The win in Buriram gives him an insurmountable lead over closest rival Andrea Dovizioso, with four races left in the season.

Spain’s Marquez finished in 39 minutes, 36.223 seconds, just ahead of 20-year-old rookie Frenchman Quartararo with another Spaniard, Maverick Vinales, third.

Marquez jumped up and down with joy after the victory and was handed an inflatable eight-ball to signify the eight overall championships across all classes that he has won.

Starting from third on the grid, Honda’s Marquez quickly slipped by Vinales and spent most of the race trying to overcome Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha), who led from the pole position.

Quartararo held the lead for 25 of the 26 laps, but Marquez made his move on the final circuit, flying past the leader as the crowd screamed with delight.

A jubilant Marquez told MotoGPTV that it had been an “amazing year.”

With six premier class titles, the 26-year-old Honda superstar pushes past Australian legend Mick Doohan.

He trails only Italian great Valentino Rossi, who won the last of his seven championships in 2009, and Giacomo Agostini, whose record eight came in 1975.

The stunning performance in Buriram, a rural town in northeastern Thailand that has banked its development on sports infrastructure, came after Marquez on Friday crashed hard in practice and had to go to the hospital, but he was declared fit to race and rebounded to finish third in qualifying.

Marquez won the inaugural race in Buriram last year in another last-corner thriller against Dovizioso.

Clear skies prevailed after a downpour on Saturday soaked the track, delaying start times and creating slippery conditions for riders.

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