VALENCIA (AFP) – MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez claimed a record 13th win of the season at the Valencia Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of Valentino Rossi and teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Marquez’s victory lifted him past the previous record mark held by Australian rider Mick Doohan of 12 victories in 17 races in 1997.
Victory for the 21-year-old in the 18th and final race of the season also ensured he and Pedrosa delivered back-to-back constructors titles for Honda.
Rossi’s second place ensured he finished second overall in the championship standings with Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who retired from the race with five laps remaining, back in third.
It was a special Sunday all round for the Marquez family as Alex Marquez followed in his older brother’s footsteps earlier in the day by becoming Moto3 world champion to ensure a clean sweep of world titles for Spanish riders in 2014.
“The truth is am very, very happy. During the race at times I was thinking of my brother and thought I had to do well,” said Marquez.
Marquez started fifth on the grid after a crash in qualifying on Saturday, but quickly moved up to third behind Rossi and Andrea Iannone.
He then had to bide his time before passing Rossi on lap 10 and Iannone a lap later.
And in a fitting end to a sensational season he sped away from the competition to seal a comfortable victory despite some intermittent spells of rain.
“When it started to rain I didn’t know what to do, I just had to concentrate and then I was out on my own. I was enjoying it a lot and I thought I would risk it, I didn’t have anything to lose.
“It went well and now I have to celebrate.”
Second place in the overall standings was Rossi’s best finish since he won the last of his seven premier class world titles in 2009, but the 35-year-old admitted it is going to be hard to get back on top of the world with Marquez around in the final years of his career.
“With Marquez there is it going to be very difficult,” said the Italian.
“I am very happy because it has been a very positive season for me.
“I was on the podium many times, won two races and got a pole position yesterday.”
Pedrosa, however, wasn’t as satisfied with his end to the season as the rain affected his pursuit of Rossi for second place.
“It wasn’t very easy to see when it was raining because it was raining more at the end of the track than the beginning, so the whole race I was pushing a little more, then a little less.
“It was difficult to calculate the risk and the moment when it was raining hardest was when I lost most time on Valentino, but to end the season with a podium isn’t bad.”