MOTEGI, Japan — official release — Yamaha photo — Jorge Lorenzo scored his second consecutive MotoGP victory in Sunday’s Motul Grand Prix of Japan, while young superstar Marc Marquez finished second to secure his second straight MotoGP World Championship.
Lorenzo took his second successive victory as his great recent form continued but the story of the race was all about Marquez as he got the job done to secure the 2014 title with three rounds to go.
“It was a really hard race today, maybe the most intense race (of the year) in terms of pace from the top four,” Lorenzo said. “I’m really happy to get the second victory in a row. The circumstances helped us in Aragon, I didn’t think we could win there. Here I knew we had a good pace and I want to thank Yamaha. The bike is very competitive now. Valentino and Marc were very fast in the last few laps and I got a bit nervous. Luckily our gap was enough to win the race. Now the fight is for second place. I think we are so close among the three fighting for (the runner-up spot) that it will be a very interesting fight for second. Congratulations to Marc though — he is the champion; he has been the best all season and he deserves it.”
Marquez’s Honda crossed the line 1.638 seconds behind Lorenzo’s Yamaha to collect the crucial points for the world championship win, as Valentino Rossi completed the rostrum in third.
“I am very happy to have sealed this second consecutive world championship, because although it is difficult to maintain this level, in the end we succeeded,” Marquez said. “Today is the time to enjoy this title. In the race I had a very clear objective, which was to finish ahead of Valentino and Dani (Pedrosa) — the other riders did not matter to me so much today. I just had one goal in mind and the important thing is that I was able to achieve it. I want to dedicate this title to all the people who have helped me – they know who they are – and especially to my family and the team, who are the foundation for all of this.”
“Just two years in MotoGP with two titles is incredible,” Marquez added. “Maybe for the people it looks easy because I’m always smiling, but there is a lot of pressure. At Misano and Aragon we made some mistakes so it was important to focus here for Honda. I’m really happy with my team and family and fans, they’re all pushing me. It’s like a dream right now.”
Marquez did not make the best start off the line but overtook Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) in the opening laps to hunt down the front group. He then picked off polesitter Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and won a midrace battle with Rossi overtaking at the second attempt on lap nine for second position.
Behind Lorenzo, Marquez and Rossi, Pedrosa eventually finished in fourth place, missing the podium by 0.555 seconds, with Dovizioso in fifth.
The top 10 was completed by Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).