Spanish racer Marc Marquez grabbed his sixth MotoGP world title in Thailand on Sunday after storming to victory in a thrilling final with Fabio Quartararo at the Chang International Circuit.
Sunday’s result gives the 26-year-old a huge lead over closest rival Andrea Dovizioso with four races left in the season.
He finished in 39min 36.223sec just ahead of 20-year-old rookie Frenchman Quartararo with another Spaniard Maverick Vinales third.
Marquez was ecstatic with the victory and was handed a large eight-ball to signify the eight overall championships across all classes he has won. He was hoisted atop the hands of supporters in celebration.
The Spaniard began the race from third on the grid, but Honda’s Marquez quickly slipped by Vinales and spent most of the race trying to overcome Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) who led from pole position.
Quartararo was leading through 25 of the 26 laps but Marquez made his move on the final circuit and blew past the leader as the crowd screamed in delight.
Marquez told reporters that it was now “time to enjoy it” after a high-pressure season with many competitors clamouring to topple the reigning champion. “Everybody is looking to beat you, it’s not easy,” a relieved-looking Marquez said. He also described the 2019 season as his best ever in MotoGP.
With six premier class titles, the 26-year-old Honda superstar now pushes past Australian legend Mick Doohan.
He trails only Italian great Valentino Rossi, who won the last of his seven championships in 2009, and Giacomo Agostini, whose record eight came in 1975.