Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Marc Marquez claims place in history

Marc Marquez celebrates his title win

Marc Marquez became the youngest ever rider to win the MotoGP world title after riding a controlled race to finish third at the season finale in Valencia.

The 20-year-old Spaniard needed to finish fourth or higher to be sure of beating Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo to the crown and did all that was required of him with a performance that yet again belied his tender years.

Lorenzo's achievement sees him become the series' youngest champion, breaking the record of Freddie Spencer who was 21 years and 258 days old when he won the title in 1983. Marquez is also the first rookie to win the premier class since Kenny Roberts in 1978.

The Honda rider's title triumph was just reward for his stunning consistency across his debut season, with his podium finish on Sunday his 16th in 18 races -- of which six of those were victories.

Lorenzo won the race but that was not enough for the outgoing champion to overcome the 13-point advantage his rival enjoyed at the start of the day.

"I feel... I cannot explain what I feel," said Marquez.

"It is a dream come true -- maybe too early because I did not expect to fight for the championship this year. Jorge did a very good job, but thanks to all my team."

Lorenzo said: "I tried the first seven-10 laps to slow down the group. We tried our best, but when I saw the other riders didn't catch the group I tried to win this race.

"Marc has been a deserving champion, so today is his day."

Valentino Rossi came home in fourth ahead of Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl with Britain's Bradley Smith seventh.