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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Champion Marc Marquez speeds to third Japan MotoGP win

The Honda rider finished the race in 42min 41.492sec, followed 0.870sec later by French rookie Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha-SRT and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso 1.325sec later.

other-sports Updated: Oct 20, 2019 15:59 IST
AFP
AFP
Motegi
Spain's MotoGP rider Marc Marquez celebrates after winning the MotoGP Japanese Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Motegi, north of Tokyo, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019
Spain's MotoGP rider Marc Marquez celebrates after winning the MotoGP Japanese Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Motegi, north of Tokyo, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019(AP)
         

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez won the Japan Grand Prix Sunday to notch his tenth victory of the season and third win on the circuit in four years. The Honda rider finished the race in 42min 41.492sec, followed 0.870sec later by French rookie Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha-SRT and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso 1.325sec later.

Marquez was unassailable from the second lap in his first ever pole start at the Motegi Twin Circuit.

Quartararo managed to shoot ahead of the Spaniard for a brief moment shortly after the start, but Marquez quickly regained the lead and shot ahead with a one-second gap early in the race.

“It was not easy. I was pushing from the beginning because our strategy was clear,” Marquez said.

“This time I tried to open the gap from the beginning because I felt very strong in the warm up,” he said.

He said he lost focus during the race when he realised his bike was burning through fuel too quickly, forcing him to “play a lot with switches”.

But Marquez was never directly threatened and enjoyed a two second gap ahead of Quartararo through most of the second half.

Quartararo finished with his third narrow defeat to the championship winner in recent races but was left smiling after winning the Rookie of the Year award.

“Marc was super fast today,” the Frenchman said. “I really pushed at my 100 percent to try to stay with him.”

He was also fending off pressure from Dovizioso, whose late charge fell just short.

“Dovi was unbelievably fast. He was riding more than a half second faster than me,” Quartararo said.

Dovizioso, marking his 100th career podium finish, said he struggled to find his form until late in the race, where he could only compete for the possible second while fending off Yamaha’s Marverick Vinales behind him.

“I was pushing so hard, but it was a bit over the limit. I wanted to (win) second, but it was not enough,” the Italian said.

“We struggled a bit during the weekend,” he said.

Marquez had already secured his season victory by winning the Thailand Grand Prix earlier this month.

Dovizioso is currently second in the world standings but missed the chance to lock in a runner-up championship finish with three more races left in the season.