Complete and utter domination. There is no other way to highlight what transpired this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix. Motegi was the scene of jubilation for Marc Marquez, who secured his seventh World Championship crown and fifth MotoGP title after yet another stunning ride at one of his favourite circuits.
It was a hat-trick of titles for the Spaniard who can do no wrong at the moment, unless you consider what took place while he was celebrating his Championship victory. Marquez was in the process of being congratulated by fellow rider Scott Redding for a job well done, but astonishingly lay down on the asphalt soon after, writhing in pain. It later became clear that the seemingly uneventful handshake actually resulted in a dislocated shoulder for the champ, who needed his brother to pop it right back in again.
Bad News for #MarcMarquez : Spaniard Marc Marquez won a fifth #MotoGP title – his third in a row – then suffered a bizarre shoulder injury when celebrating victory in #Japan. pic.twitter.com/dUm786Bue7
— National Sports Arabia (@NationalSports_) October 22, 2018
As bizarre as the incident was, it doesn’t take the shine off of one of MotoGP’s all-time greatest stories. As a teenager with all the potential in the world, it can sometimes be difficult to back up all that has been said about you, but Marc Marquez would know nothing about this. The Repsol Honda rider has been totally dominant since walking into the gates of premier motorcycle racing, and has never looked back.
Competing against his idols in the likes of Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, Marquez has kept his cool and been fearless throughout, taking him to the milestone achievement. The 25-year-old made history in more ways than one at Motegi, becoming the youngest rider since Valentino Rossi to win five titles in the premier division of MotoGP racing, while also becoming the youngest to ever win seven World Championships in total.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) May 31, 2015
It was also a special day for the Honda team, who won the Championship in front of their home crowd thanks to Marquez’s sensational ride, repeating the feat this year after doing it in two previous campaigns as well. The same team that was responsible for giving the legendary Rossi so many of his victories, now clearly have another modern-day legend in their midst.
When you consider that the gap between Championship winner Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso in second place was a whopping 102 points, it would seem as if there was never any chance of anything going wrong. But the story was a whole lot different in reality. The Spaniard has had to scratch and claw for so many victories this season and has his own talent to praise for the ability to come back even when seemingly out of it, as was evident even in his title-winning ride in Japan.
Dovizioso started on pole and led much of the race while Marquez only started in sixth place. But a mistake towards the end caused largely by the pressure of the rapidly approaching Respol Honda of Marquez ensured that the Ducati rider slipped up after giving up the race lead, and finished 18th in the end.
At the age of 25, few riders have the killer instinct that this talented and seemingly unbeatable beast seems to have, and it is fair to say that when you win five World Championships at the elite level, it doesn’t happen by accident. He has had his fair share of doubters in the past, but Marquez has ensured he backs up what he says with his performances on a regular basis, and hardly leaves any scope for critique in the first place. Whether you like it or not, the multi-time World Champion is here to stay, and here to dominate for years to come.