Marquez pips Quartararo in Thai thriller to clinch MotoGP title

The Catalan needed only to finish two points ahead of his closest rival, Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, and the Italian was never remotely close enough to spoil the Repsol Honda rider's almost inevitable party.The race weekend had been far from straightforward for Marquez, though. A terrifying high-side crash during the first practice session on Friday had seen the man from Cervera leave the circuit's medical center on a stretcher.After a brief stay in hospital for checks he was discharged, but the reigning champion found himself in the gravel again, albeit in less spectacular fashion, during qualifying after pushing too hard on a flying lap.The race, too, did not always look as though it would go his way. Fabio Quartararo, the young Petronas Yamaha rookie, led from pole with Marquez close behind. The two stretched ahead of the pack, with the factory Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales tracking them from a distance.For a while it looked as though Marquez might even settle for a second place that would have easily seen him clinch the title — he only needed to finish two points ahead of Dovizioso, who was a distant fourth. But settling is not the factory Honda rider's style.The power behind Marc Marquez's MotoGP throneWith two laps to go, he began to challenge the impressive Quartararo, who was seeking his first premier class win, with Marquez taking the lead on the final lap, with few passing opportunities remaining.The 20-year-old Frenchman tried a last corner lunge, but Marquez countered, firing across the line with inches between the pair to win the title with a victory — putting him 110 points ahead of Dovizioso, with only 100 points left to play for.As he crossed the line, Marquez punched the air wildly, while a desolate Quartararo slumped onto his fuel tank. The satellite Yamaha rider has come close several times this season, but a first MotoGP win still eludes him.Theatrical celebrations are a hallmark of MotoGP, pioneered by Valentino Rossi and his fan club. A pool table awaited Marquez at the side of the Chang International Circuit. Marc Marquez jumps for joy as he celebrates his eighth world motorcycling title and sixth MotoGP crown.The new champion was handed a cue by a tuxedo-wearing mechanic, and proceeded to plant an eight ball, symbolizing his eighth title, into the corner pocket. Golden glitter was fired into the air above him as he mounted the table with a giant 'eight ball' and waved to a roaring Buriram crowd.MotoGP: The King of COTA is deposed"It was a beautiful way to win the championship," Marquez told reporters after the race. "Even if I wasn't thinking about it on the last lap! Arriving in parc fermé with the whole Repsol Honda Team there was fantastic; it's a dream to do it with the whole fan club and the nice celebration.""Every year is special," he added. "It'Read More – Source

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