Create

MotoGP: 4 Times the World Championship was decided in final race of the season

Kredy
Marc Marquez won his fourth MotoGP riders' championship in 2017
Marc Marquez won his fourth MotoGP riders' championship in 2017

Since the introduction of the MotoGP era in 2002, there has been a slew of close finishes that captured the imagination of every racing fan. Most of these only altered the result of that one particular race with a couple of riders falling short of a well-earned victory.

However, at times, there have been instances when the riders' championship was decided based on the outcome of one race, which was also the final race of the season. In those races, the rider who had the upper hand over their opponents took the season's championship gold.

Let us not wait any longer and look closer at the four instances when the MotoGP Riders' Championship was decided on the final race of the season.


#1 2017 - Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez took the 2018 riders' championship in a comfortable fashion, but the Spaniard was pushed to his limits the previous year.

The Spanish rider started the season strong and was in the championship fray right from round one. Ducati's Dovizioso hadn't had the best of starts to the 2017 season but six wins during the course of the calendar year ensured that the championship was alive till the last race of the season.

At the Valencia Grand Prix, Marquez held a lead of 21 points over the Italian and needed to finish eleventh or higher to claim the championship. Dovizioso had a much more difficult task in front of him as anything apart from a race win would virtually hand the title to his Spanish adversary.

Starting from the pole position, the Spanish rider almost crashed out during the initial stages of the race but recovered to secure a well-fought third place, over ten seconds behind Dani Pedrosa and Johann Zarco. This was enough for him to seal the title as Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of the Grand Prix on lap 25.

#2 2015 - Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo won his third MotoGP riders' championship in 2015
Jorge Lorenzo won his third MotoGP riders' championship in 2015

After two years' of Marc Marquez's dominance, 2015 was a surprise as both the factory Yamaha riders' eyed the championship gold.

Valentino Rossi had a brilliant start to the 2015 season that saw him win two out of the first three races. With consistent performances throughout the season, the Italian led the championship for the most part of the season.

His teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, on the other hand, started the season slowly but four consecutive wins put himself in the dogfight for the championship. The Spaniard's impressive form in the business end of the 2015 season saw him close the gap to seven points in the final race of the season in Valencia.

Valentino Rossi started the race from the last place due to a penalty, but an inspired drive by the Italian ensured that he would finish the race in the third place.

Starting the race from the pole position, Lorenzo dictated the race pace and crossed the chequered flag in the first place, less than a second ahead of both the Repsol Honda vehicles. With that win, the Spaniard took the 2015 riders' championship with 330 points, five points greater than Rossi's 325.

#3 2013 - Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez won his first championship in 2013
Marc Marquez won his first championship in 2013

Few expected Marc Marquez to achieve the impossible during his debut MotoGP season. The Spanish rider defied all odds and took the championship in spectacular fashion at the final race of the season.

Marquez started the season strong, securing podium finishes in the first four races of the season. With more consistent performances, including four consecutive race wins, the Spaniard headed into the Valencia Grand Prix with a thirteen point lead over the second-placed Jorge Lorenzo.

Lorenzo too had a fantastic season, winning eight races before the final race of the season. The Yamaha rider started the race from the third place, but with a brilliant drive, he went on to claim the race win.

Marquez, after starting the race from pole, slipped a couple of places but managed to finish the race in the third place, which was enough for him to clinch the riders' championship in his rookie season.

Interestingly, with that podium, Marc Marquez finished no lower than third in all the races that he finished that season.

#4 2006 - Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden's only world championship came in 2006
Nicky Hayden's only world championship came in 2006

Nicky Hayden's 2006 riders' championship is the only MotoGP Championship of his career.

The American started the season strong and headed the championship from race three, edging past the almost-unbeatable Valentino Rossi. Hayden and the Italian had very close and intense battles for the championship throughout the entire season but a crash in the penultimate race of the 2006 season in Portugal virtually handed the title to Yamaha's Rossi.

Going into the final race of the season in Valencia, the American trailed Rossi by eight points and need a miracle to snatch yet another championship from Valentino Rossi.

Starting from the pole position, the Italian endured a poor start which forced him to drop places in the very first lap itself. In desperation to recover lost ground, the Italian rider pushed too hard and crashed on lap 4. However, Rossi recovered and finished the race in the thirteenth place.

Nicky Hayden, on the other hand, had a good start and maintained race pace throughout the Grand Prix to finish the final race of the season in the third place, behind Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi.

That podium ensured that the American rider secured the world championship with 252 points, five points more than his Italian adversary.

Quick Links

Edited by Vikshith R
Be the first one to comment