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GP Week : Issue 195
Jorge Lorenzo’s almost-immaculate title defence came to a fitting conclusion at a jam-packed Valencia circuit last sunday. He played his cards and won the race, his eighth this year. Never before has any rider won so many races in a season and not won the title. Never before has a rider had to face a rookie challenger like Marc Marquez. The Repsol Honda rider was supposed to be taking a year to learn his craft, leaving the title challenge to his older and well- seasoned team-mate Dani Pedrosa. The reigning Moto2 champion turned that upside down with a precocious win at Round Two. Now at round 18 he turned in a fast but mature performance. Third behind Pedrosa was more than good enough to secure the title. After a year of ‘youngest-ever’ class records, the smiling youth from the countryside outside Barcelona sliced almost a full year off predecessor Freddie Spencer’s 1985 defeat of Kenny Roberts. Spencer’s win came in his second full season. Marquez did it in his first. The race attracted a capacity crowd of more than 100,000. They watched Yamaha-mounted Lorenzo try to slow the pace in the early stages, so that perhaps team-mate Rossi could help push Marquez down to fourth ... or into an error. But he wasn’t fast enough, and continued to his normal fourth place. Lorenzo’s determination to keep the Hondas behind him saw him repass Pedrosa at every attempt, culminating in a turn-two collision that almost brought his rival down and allowed Marquez into a lead that he promptly handed back to the Yamaha rider. Pedrosa fought back from fifth, and Marquez let MOTOGP >>> nEWs JORGE'S FINALE, MARQUEZ' CROWN 13 GPWEEK.com // 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: