Starting from sixth position, Márquez was third on the first corner and up into second –behind Dovizioso– before the end of Lap 1.
Four laps from the end, he passed the Italian at Turn 9 and defended his lead from then on, with his rival making a mistake on the penultimate lap.
Dani Pedrosa gained three places off the start and settled into eighth place, the position in which he took the chequered flag.
I feel really, really good. I would say it’s a dream came true, or better, that I’m living a dream. It’s something so special, here together with my team, all the Honda and HRC people, my family and my staff. It has been a great season, and ever since Aragon I’ve been tasting, imagining this title, because it was very close.
Then I realized that this wasn’t my style, and I needed extra motivation, so I set the goal of trying to achieve it with my first match ball—in Motegi, by winning the race. This circuit was a challenging one to manage that, but it seems like when I’m under pressure, I feel better on the bike!
Today the race was as I expected. I was prepared to make a good start and immediately make some passes. I got to second place at the end of the first lap, and then was able to follow Andrea and stay with him. I thought I could try and attack before the last lap because I felt I had something extra to give. He was pushing very hard and made a mistake, and that’s a shame because he deserved to be here on the podium.
That’s also something that I think Dani would deserve at least once this season. Anyway, when I crossed the finish line it was an explosion of joy. My people prepared this Level7 celebration, but I didn’t know anything ahead of time. I never want to know, but I think it’s because I used to play that kind of game a lot. Now it’s time to celebrate this seventh title and enjoy these final three races.
The race today was very disappointing, as I wasn’t able to reach my expected performance. I didn’t have the perfect feeling on the bike, and I struggled a lot. It’s a shame, because this is a track and a place that I like very much. Anyway, that’s the situation, and we need to try and manage as well as possible.
I would like to congratulate Marc, as what he has done is amazing. He has been strong everywhere this season, and he was able to make only few mistakes, always gaining points. He’s a rider that evolves continuously. I think the team did a great job as well.
Begoña Elices - Executive Managing Director of Communication and Chairman’s Office
Marc [Márquez] is a clear example of talent and consistency. At Repsol we are very proud to have accompanied him since his career began, more than ten years ago. This season he has once again demonstrated that he can perform to the fullest without losing his smile. With this seventh World Championship he has further solidified his place as one of the greatest sportsmen of all time. Congratulations to the whole team and, especially, to Marc!
Yoshihige Nomura - HRC President
Despite the expectations and pressure to win his third consecutive title, Marc [Marquez] has mesmerized his fans with an outstanding performance throughout the season. I congratulate Marc for another job well done. I would also like to thank the team who supported him, our many sponsors who have supported our racing activities, and MotoGP fans all over the world for supporting the sport.