How magnificent Marquez successfully defended the MotoGP title in 2014
Repsol Honda’s brilliant young MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez retained the premier class title in style this year – and this is the story of how he did so, sending the hashtag #MM93WorldChamp trending worldwide.
Last year Marquez became the youngest ever winner of the premier class World Championship, securing the crown by four points and winning it at the last race of the season in Valencia. This year a brilliant start to his title defence saw him notch up ten consecutive race wins in the opening ten races, leaving his rivals chasing his shadows.
A pre-season leg break which the rider, from Cervera, Spain, sustained whilst dirt track training close to his hometown, meant he missed the last tests before the new season commenced, but he showed no signs of weakness once the real action got underway in Qatar. Just weeks after his training accident Marquez showed he would be tough to beat this year as he won from pole at the Losail International Circuit following a great battle in the desert with Valentino Rossi.
Returning to the scene of his first MotoGP class win last year in Austin, Marquez was unstoppable at round two as he won by a four second margin from his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa. A fortnight later Marquez added another venue to the list of tracks where he has been victorious as he won an enthralling MotoGP race in Argentina at the new Termas de Rio Hondo track.
Just a week on from the Argentina triumph, Marquez cruised to victory in front of 115,000 fans at Jerez with Rossi and Pedrosa also on the podium. It was a fourth win from pole as Marquez continued his ruthless form.
On the back of his early season performances Marquez agreed a new two year deal with his team, tying him to Honda Racing Corporation until the end of 2016.
Further victories were racked up from pole as the series of European Grands Prix continued at Le Mans and Mugello. Pedrosa, Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were giving it their all to stop the rampant 21 year-old but could not find a way to defeat him.
Marquez’s rivals got a glimmer of hope at Barcelona-Catalunya as he crashed out of Q2 and missed pole for the first time this season, qualifying third. But come the race Marquez was as formidable as ever, crossing the line half a second in front of Rossi, surviving a late scare as Pedrosa touched his rear wheel in the final stages, the latter almost crashing and having to settle for third.
Given his brilliant performances, every weekend Marquez was being asked if he felt invincible and whether he could win every race in 2014. But he played things down and insisted that he had to be prepared for a race when he could not clinch victory. He consistently reiterated that winning the championship, not every race, was his goal.
Nonetheless, the victories kept coming as Marquez got the best out of his Honda RC213V every time he went out to race. Assen brought a huge challenge in difficult conditions, but Marquez adapted best in the flag-to-flag contest and took the win by 6.7s from Andrea Dovizioso. The Dutch TT success made Marquez the first rider since the great Giacomo Agostini in 1971 to win the first eight premier-class races of the year.
Sachsenring was next and the MotoGP riders raced in tricky conditions again. With the track drying quickly much of the field changed from wet set-up to dry after the final Warm Up lap, meaning they had to start from pit lane. Marquez showed he was the man for all seasons once again, winning by 1.5s from Pedrosa.
This meant Marquez went into the summer break with a perfect record of nine wins from nine races and as he relaxed on the beach in Tarifa with his brother Alex and their friends during the summer break, he did so with a healthy 77 point lead in the standings.
That lead increased to 89 points as the action resumed at Indianapolis and Marquez took another win from pole, with Lorenzo and Rossi joining him on the podium. The victory saw Marquez become the first rider since Mick Doohan in 1997 to win ten successive premier class races.
Eventually the time would come for Marquez to show that he was human after all and it was at Brno that his winning streak finally came to an end. Marquez crossed the line in fourth place, behind winner Pedrosa and podium finishers Lorenzo and Rossi.
It was business as usual at Silverstone two weeks later, however, as Marquez struck back immediately for victory after a superb battle with Lorenzo.
Uncharacteristic crashes for Marquez at Misano and Aragon saw him finish the races there 15th and 13th respectively. However the 21 year-old rider still had a significant 75 point lead as MotoGP departed from Europe and headed east to Japan for the first of the ‘flyaway’ triple header of races.
With a calm and controlled ride into second place at Motegi, behind a resurgent race winning Lorenzo, Marquez got the required points to retain his title. Winning a midrace battle with Rossi and managing the gap ahead of the Italian in second place in the second half of the race Marquez wrapped up the World Championship honours with three races to go.
Key stats on Marquez’s 2014 MotoGP World Championship win
By winning the 2014 MotoGP™ title on Sunday at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan Marc Marquez set several new records. Here is a list of those records and some additional milestones achieved by the Repsol Honda star this year.
– Marquez is the youngest ever rider to win two consecutive premier class World Championships at the age of 21 years 237 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who was 23 years 152 days when he won his second successive 500cc title in 1963.
– He is the first Spanish rider to win back-to-back world titles in the premier class of Grand Prix racing.
– During 2014 Marquez became the first rider since Giacomo Agostini in 1970 to win the opening 10 premier class GP races of the season
– The 10 successive wins by Marquez in 2014 is a new record for most successive wins in the MotoGP class.
– In 2014 he also became the youngest rider to win 10 successive premier class GP races, at the age of 21 years 174 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who was 24 years 94 days old when in 1964 he won the tenth of a twelve race winning sequence.
– Marquez is the first Honda rider to clinch a world title at the Motegi circuit, which is owned by Honda.
– With three races remaining in 2014, Marquez has already stood on the top step of the podium 11 times during the year, equaling the record for most MotoGP victories in a single season that was achieved by Valentino Rossi in both the 2002 and 2005 seasons.
Marc Marquez – The story of a Champion
In 2014 Repsol Honda’s sensational MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez wrote the latest chapter in the story of an amazing career so far in Grand Prix racing for the 21 year-old from Cervera, Spain.
Marquez made his debut in the World Championship in 2008 as a 15 year-old and although his rookie season was curtailed by injury he made headlines by achieving a podium result in just his sixth race at Donington Park. He picked up another podium result in 2009 as he gathered further experience, before becoming a 125cc World Champion for the first time in 2010 by winning 10 of the last 14 races of the year.
In the Moto2™ class the following season he won seven more races after a tricky start and he pushed hard for the title but lost out to Stefan Bradl, after a practice crash at Sepang halted his campaign. Despite ongoing problems with his eyesight from that accident which affected his 2012 preseason Marquez romped to the Moto2™ title that year with a total of nine victories and 14 podiums.
The young Spaniard therefore moved up to the premier class for 2013 joining the Repsol Honda team as the World Champion of the intermediate category.
Last year Marquez became the youngest ever rider to clinch the premier class world title in MotoGP™ thanks to a truly amazing debut season for the then 20-year-old. He also became the first rookie premier class World Champion for 35 years, winning for the first time in the premier class in just his second race in MotoGP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
Over the course of 2013 he would battle with the experienced trio of Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, notching up six wins in total, but it was his brilliant haul of 16 podiums from 18 races which saw him win the World Championship. The title was sealed by four points over nearest rival and outgoing champion Lorenzo with an intelligent ride to third place in the last race of the season at Valencia.
The 2014 campaign saw Marquez raise the bar, with Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Rossi unable to challenge his searing pace and consistently powerful performances in the first half of the year. Marquez built up a huge lead in the championship with ten successive victories in the opening 10 rounds of the season and even a mid season blip in form which saw him off the podium in three races in a quartet of Grands Prix shortly after the summer break would not hold him back.
His win at Silverstone after a brilliant duel with Lorenzo and his second place in Japan proved to be decisive as Marquez wrapped up the 2014 crown with three races remaining.