Marc Marquez has been crowned the 2016 MotoGP World Champion after title rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo failed to finish the race at the Twin Ring in Motegi. This is the Spaniard's third title win in the Premier Class following his promotion from Moto2 in 2013.
The two-time world champion came into the race in Japan with a 52-point lead over second placed Rossi and it was possible to win the title with two races remaining if the Italian finished below 14th place and Lorenzo below fourth place. The Yamaha duo started the race strong with Lorenzo leading the race after Turn 1 and Rossi in third place behind the newly crowned world champion.
Marquez had displayed superior pace all through the weekend and was not to be curtailed and took over at the front from his compatriot midway through the race and was able to pull away. Rossi took second place from his teammate and was hoping to keep pace with the race leader, but his race came to an end when he lost the front-end on Turn 10, which has been a site for a number of crashes this weekend.
Lorenzo was in second albeit around four seconds behind Marquez until the final five laps. The defending champion was struggling with injuries he picked up during a crash in FP3 and was fighting to hold off Andrea Dovizioso, who was closing in from third place. However, it was not to be and the Yamaha rider, who is moving to Ducati next season, lost his front-end and crashed out on Turn 9 with five laps remaining to hand the world championship to the Honda rider with three races still left until the end of the season.
Marquez became the youngest five-time world champion with his triumph this season, which includes his Moto2 title in 2012 and his 125cc title in 2010. This season, however, was more about consistency rather than race wins. The Spaniard has won just five races out of the 15 thus far, but has finished out of the top five just once throughout the campaign.
The 23-year-old was delighted following the race and dedicated the title to his grandmother, who passed away earlier in the year. He also admitted that it was difficult to concentrate in the final four laps after he learned that Lorenzo had also crashed out following Rossi's retirement earlier in the race.