Two weeks after clinching the 2019 MotoGP Championship in Thailand, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was once again unstoppable.The 26-year-old Spaniard, who claimed his sixth MotoGP title after winning in Thailand, wasted zero time in Motegi. He claimed the pole and then led all 24 laps of the Japanese Grand Prix to earn his 10th win of 2019 MotoGP.
With his win at Honda’s home circuit, Marquez now equals Mick Doohan as the most successful Honda rider; both have 54 premier-class titles aboard Honda machinery. Honda also claimed the Constructors Championship; to date, Honda has simultaneously claimed 20 of the Constructors and Riders Championships. This was also Honda’s 70th Constructors Championship across all classes.With his 14 podiums, including 13 straight (only round he was not first or second was at Austin where he crashed out), Marquez has amassed 350 points – 33 shy of Jorge Lorenzo’s all-time premier class record of 383 points in a season. And 75 are still up for grabs with three rounds remaining. When the race was complete, Marquez finished 0.870 of a second ahead of Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo. The Frenchman remained in second for the entire race, and also claimed the Rookie of the Year award.Mission Winnow Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso finished third, 1.325 seconds behind Marquez.“It wasn’t an easy race,” Marc Marquez says. “I was pushing from the beginning, the strategy was clear – I had to try to open a gap. I felt strong and with the team we had calculated a pace of 1’46 low but then I was able to ride in 1’45 high – good news for me but I had to slow down a little bit.“I worked on riding as smooth as possible and I was able to open the gap to two seconds but in the final two laps we were getting a little low on fuel because Motegi is always very demanding. There was a little bit of pressure to win the Constructors Championship in Japan, but I love the pressure and it is great to win it here for Honda because everyone works so hard. All the Repsol Honda Team did a great job to find the best setting and strategy for this race.”The victory is the 10th of 2019, and his fourth in a row. This was the first time Marquez has achieved four-straight wins in the premier class since 2014.The MotoGP World Championship now heads directly to round 17, the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island October 25 to 27.Photos by Luciano Bianchetto
2019 Motegi MotoGP Results
2019 MotoGP Point Standings (after 16 of 19 rounds)
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.