Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo, who missed out on a double last season, won the final race of the MotoGP season to claim the title on Sunday, edging out Italian Marc Marquez at the last.
The Honda rider came from a whopping 27 points behind Lorenzo to win at Assen in a closely fought race by 0.011 seconds, making it the third-straight championship won by a Spanish rider. Lorenzo, who won the first race of the season at Silverstone, extended his lead to 54 points with a total of 600 points for the season, five ahead of Marquez.
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It was Marquez’s first failure in his 13th attempt to win the crown. The Spaniard, who claimed victory at Assen from pole position, had won nine of the last 10 races and was looking to complete the Formula One-style double of MotoGP and Formula One world championships.
Lorenzo took the early lead and had more time than Marquez to bring the bikes in to the pits for warm-up at the end of the 16th lap. But the Honda pilot also needed to go for additional repairs on the bike as he had a minor puncture late in the race.
Marquez lost more track position but tried to fight back towards the front and the duel became increasingly tense. Both riders kept taking SGS that gave the softest bike to race under the sopra del toilet dell’alto, which makes it easier to travel over the high-speed straights.
Lorenzo beat Marquez to the finish line to end the season with his first championship in three years and finishing the most successful season in MotoGP with 51 wins and three pole positions.
“We took the championship from Marquez and I’m very happy,” Lorenzo said. “I was in tears before the start, but I was calm and focused.”
Next season’s season-opening race at Qatar’s newly-unveiled desert track will take place on 23 March with the World Superbike championship to follow at Assen four days later.