Factory Honda Team #93 Spanish
2017 MotoGP World Champion
Marc Márquez Alenta, Born in Cervera, Catalonia, Spain 17 February 1993, is a Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and four-time MotoGP world champion. Márquez races for Honda's factory team since his MotoGP debut in 2013. Nicknamed the "Ant of Cervera", he is one of four riders to have won world championship titles in three different categories, after Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Valentino Rossi.
Márquez won the 2010 125cc World Championship, the 2012 Moto2 World Championship, and the 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 MotoGP World Championships. Márquez became the first rider since Kenny Roberts in 1978 to accomplish the premier class title in his first season, and the youngest to win the world title overall. He defended his title, winning the 2014 championship with three rounds to spare. During that title run Márquez won ten races in a row. Márquez equalled the all-time Grand Prix record for pole positions at the age of 23 in 2016. Márquez secured the 2016 title with three rounds to spare at Motegi.
125cc World Championship
Márquez made his championship debut on 13 April 2008 at the 125cc 2008 Portuguese Grand Prix at the age of 15 years and 56 days. He is the youngest Spanish rider to take a pole position or a podium in a motorcycle racing world championship.
Márquez took his first podium on 22 June 2008 at the British Grand Prix. In 2009, as a factory KTM rider, at the French Grand Prix he took his first pole position at the age of 16 years and 89 days. He also took pole for the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix but the exhaust pipe fell off on the opening lap and went under the rear wheel, causing Márquez to crash and injure his shoulder. His first win was on 6 June 2010 at Mugello. Further victories at Silverstone, Assen and Catalonia in the next three races made Márquez the youngest rider to win four successive races. His fifth win in succession at the Sachsenring was Derbi's 100th victory in Grand Prix racing, and Márquez became the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 1997 to win five successive races in 125cc racing.
He was less successful in the following races, dropping to third in the standings at one point behind Nicolas Terol and Pol Espargaró after being involved in an accident with Randy Krummenacher at the first corner at the Aragon Grand Prix. Four successive wins from Motegi onwards had moved Márquez into a 17-point lead over Terol with only one round to go. At Estoril, the race was red-flagged due to rain with Márquez running second to Terol. When returning to the grid for the second race, Márquez fell on the sighting lap and had to return to the pits. With repairs, Márquez started at the back as he didn't get out before field pit lane closed. Despite this, Márquez recovered to win the race and thus extend his lead before the Valencia finale. His tenth victory of the season moved him to within one of tying the record set by Rossi in 1997. He would fall short as he was fourth at the final race in Valencia to become the second-youngest World Champion after Loris Capirossi.
Moto2 World Championship
Márquez moved into the Moto2 class for 2011 - the first of an expected two-year deal He finished 21st in Portugal, before taking his first victory at the French Grand Prix. At his home race in Catalonia, Márquez finished second behind championship leader Stefan Bradl, before another fall at the Silverstone, having started from his first Moto2 pole position. With Bradl taking his fourth victory in the first six races, Márquez trailed him by 82 points at the end of the weekend. Márquez made a mid-season surge, winning six of the next seven races to move within six points of Bradl in the championship.
In the Japanese Grand Prix, Márquez took his seventh pole position of the season but finished second to Andrea Iannone, but that finish combined with a fourth place for Bradl, allowed Márquez to take the championship lead by a point. At the Australian Grand Prix, Márquez was involved in an incident with Ratthapark Wilairot during free practice; Márquez crashed into the back of Wilairot after the session had been concluded, and for riding in an "irresponsible manner", was given a one-minute time penalty onto his qualifying time. The penalty ensured Márquez would start the race from last on the grid, but he made his way through the field and eventually finished third.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Márquez's race weekend was hampered in the opening minutes of the first free practice session, as he crashed on a damp patch. After sitting out two further practice sessions, Márquez completed two laps in the qualifying session, but his times were only good enough for 36th on the grid. He did not start the race, as he failed a medical. Márquez attended the final race of the season in Valencia, in the hope of being fit to compete, but withdrew due to his continued vision problems, giving Bradl the title.
In 2012, Márquez won the Moto2 championship title after a season-long battle with fellow Spanish rider Pol Espargaró; a third-place finish for Márquez at the Australian Grand Prix - despite a win for Espargaro- was enough to give him his second world title before moving into the premier class for 2013. He took his last victory in the class at the Valencian Grand Prix, despite starting from 33rd on the grid. This performance, which implied overtaking 20 bikes on the first lap alone, meant the biggest comeback in the sport's history. He finished the season with nine race wins, setting a record for the class that still stands.
Márquez tested the Honda RC213V for the first time in Valencia after the end of 2012 championships lapping just over a second slower than his teammate and compatriot Dani Pedrosa who topped the time sheets. Márquez was again impressive during the first official MotoGP testing at Sepang where he finished the first two days of testing at third position just behind Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo and ahead of Valentino Rossi in fourth before swapping places with Rossi on the final day. Márquez also did a race simulation during the closing stages of the session and his timings were consistent and phenomenal for a rookie. Márquez continued his impressive form in the private test of Honda at Austin where he topped the timesheets all three days.
Márquez started the season with a podium finish in Qatar. He qualified sixth and finished third behind Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. At the second round of the championship at the new Circuit of the Americas in Texas, Márquez beat his teammate Dani Pedrosa and became the first winner at the new track. In doing this Márquez became the youngest ever MotoGP race winner at 20 years, 63 days, beating Freddie Spencer's 30-year-old record.
At Jerez Márquez slipped off during the third free practice session without getting injured and qualified third fastest. Márquez finished the race in second behind teammate Dani Pedrosa. At Le Mans, Márquez took the second pole of his short MotoGP career, 0.03 seconds ahead of Lorenzo. Márquez had a bad start to the race however by mid-race he progressed forward. Márquez overtook Andrea Dovizioso with only two laps to go in the race to claim his fourth podium finish in as many races, tying Max Biaggi's record from 1998. Márquez endured a tough weekend at Mugello. After crashing his Repsol Honda on Friday morning Márquez crashed again on Friday afternoon, he had a third crash on Saturday morning practice qualified on the second row for the race. He suffered his 4th crash of the weekend with only 3 laps to go in the race; his first non-finish since joining the premier class.
At Catalonia, Márquez finished the race in 3rd place. At Assen, Márquez suffered a huge highside in morning practice causing small fractures of his little finger on his right hand and also his left big toe. He finished the race in 3rd place. At Sachsenring, following injuries to main rivals Pedrosa and Lorenzo, Márquez took his 3rd MotoGP pole position. After an average start he worked his way to the front to lead by the end of lap five and was never again headed despite a strong late race charge from Cal Crutchlow to win by 1.5 seconds. At Laguna Seca, Márquez replicated the overtake that Rossi made on Casey Stoner at the same corner in 2008 to pass Rossi. He won his third race of the year to extend his championship lead to 16 points over Dani Pedrosa.
At Indianapolis, Márquez grabbed pole position by 0.5 seconds from Jorge Lorenzo. In the race Márquez made an average get away and dropped behind Lorenzo and Pedrosa. On lap 12 Márquez made a pass on Lorenzo for the lead, Lorenzo and Pedrosa were able to keep pace with Márquez for a few laps but towards the latter stages the gap opened out and Márquez took his 4th win of the year by just over 3 seconds. At Brno, the race saw an intense battle between Márquez and Lorenzo. Lorenzo made a great start off the line and led the race at the first corner. The pair proceeded to swap places on various occasions, with the final pass coming at Turn 3 with just under four laps to go; Márquez became the first rider to win four consecutive races since Valentino Rossi in 2008.
Márquez at the 2013 British Grand Prix.
At Silverstone, during Sunday morning warm up, Márquez crashed his bike and dislocated his shoulder in the impact. The race was a fight between Márquez and Lorenzo in the early laps as they pulled away from the field. In the final laps the two front runners traded places and paint; Márquez passed Lorenzo with only a few corners remaining but was again repassed and finished second. At Misano, Márquez was atop the standings once again by over half a second from Lorenzo to claim pole position. Márquez finished the race in second place behind Lorenzo. At Aragon, Márquez started from pole for the seventh time in 2013. Again Márquez lost the lead to Lorenzo in the first corner. Márquez found himself 2 seconds behind Lorenzo but soon caught up with Lorenzo and eventually crossed the line over one second ahead to record his sixth victory of the season. Márquez moved on to 278 points with four races left, 39 ahead of second-placed Lorenzo.
At Sepang, Márquez took his fourth consecutive pole position. In the race Márquez made another poor start and was fighting with Rossi for third and fourth places in the first laps of the race. Márquez finished the race in second place. At Phillip Island in Australia, Márquez was disqualified from the race, reducing his championship lead over Lorenzo (who won) from 43 points to 18 with two rounds to go. At Motegi, Márquez recovered from a heavy fall on race day morning to finish second behind Lorenzo. The result trimmed his championship lead to 13 points, meaning a fourth-place finish at Valencia would be sufficient to crown him champion even if Lorenzo won. Márquez started the race on pole, but had a bad start, and fell to third. Márquez then let Dani Pedrosa do most of the early attacking on Jorge Lorenzo; Lorenzo then pushed on after a scare to win the race, Pedrosa and Márquez came second and third respectively, which was enough for Márquez to become champion, the youngest in series history.
The 2014 season started well for Márquez producing fastest times on all three days of the first Malaysian test. He then suffered a broken right leg and was unable to take part in the second Malaysian test or the Phillip Island tyre test.
The first race of the season was held at Losail in Qatar. Márquez progressed steadily through the events practice sessions and showed strong pace on Saturday afternoon to take pole position. During the race he made an average start dropping to 4th place on lap one, Márquez gradually worked his way to the front of the race and after enduring a tense battle with Valentino Rossi for the second half of the race, ultimately won by 0.259 seconds. He also went on to win the next five rounds in Texas, Argentina, Spain, France, and Italy, all from pole position.
At the Catalan Grand Prix, Márquez failed to take pole position - qualifying third after crashing during the session - but after holding off attacks from teammate Pedrosa, and Yamaha pairing Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi, Márquez was able to win his seventh race in a row, extending his championship lead to 58 over Rossi. With younger brother Alex winning the earlier Moto3 race, the Márquez brothers became the first siblings to win Grand Prix world championship races on the same day. The brothers repeated the feat at the Dutch TT two weeks later. At the German Grand Prix, Márquez again won the race, thereby becoming the youngest rider to win nine races in a row in the premier class.
With a tenth successive victory coming at Indianapolis, Márquez became the third rider to achieve such a feat in the premier class, after Mick Doohan and Giacomo Agostini.
Márquez suffered his first defeat of the season at Brno, but won the following race at Silverstone, defeating Jorge Lorenzo. At Misano, Márquez crashed while battling for the race lead with Valentino Rossi; he remounted and - with a last-lap retirement for Aleix Espargaró - was able to score one championship point. Márquez and Pedrosa crashed in heavy rain late in the race at Aragon and finished 13th and 14th, with Lorenzo winning his first race of the year after he stopped earlier from third position to change to his wet-setup motorcycle. Márquez clinched his second title at Motegi with three rounds remaining. At Phillip Island, Márquez took his 12th pole position of the season, matching Casey Stoner's record from 2011, but he crashed out while leading the race, his first non-finish since the 2013 Italian Grand Prix. At Sepang, Márquez broke Stoner's record, with his 13th pole position of the season and his 50th Grand Prix pole position. He took his 12th win of the season, matching Mick Doohan's record of most premier class victories in a single season, from 1997. Márquez's result was also good enough for Honda to claim the manufacturers' championship, with a race to spare. At the final race in Valencia, Márquez broke Doohan's record, with his 13th win of the season.
The 2015 MotoGP season started off with Márquez, once again, being the favourite to take the Championship, but he started slowly with a fifth-place finish in Qatar, after a mistake at Turn 1 dropped him to the back of the 25-rider field. He won the second race of the season in Texas, his third successive triumph at the COTA, the Circuit of the Americas. In Argentina, Márquez, started from pole position, and then led the race with a lead of four seconds. However, Valentino Rossi closed the gap and on lap 22 caught up to Márquez. The two riders made contact at Turn 5 with two laps remaining, with Márquez crashing out of the race to record his first non-finish since the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. He finished second behind Jorge Lorenzo in Spain, despite riding with a fractured finger on his left hand after a dirt-track accident, a week before the race. In France, Márquez took his third pole position of the season, but dropped down to seventh place at the start. He overtook Cal Crutchlow, who crashed out of the race, and on lap 22, Márquez struggled during a hard battle for fourth place with Bradley Smith and Andrea Iannone, who was riding despite his injured left shoulder, and finally Márquez finished in fourth place ahead of Iannone.
Márquez failed to finish the races in Italy and Catalunya, but returned to the podium with a second-place finish at Assen, after a race-long battle with Rossi. Márquez took successive victories in Germany, and Indianapolis, before a second-place finish at Brno. Márquez crashed out at Silverstone in wet conditions, but won at Misano. Márquez crashed out at MotorLand Aragon, and a fourth-place finish in Motegi ended his hopes of retaining the title. In his 130th start, Márquez achieved his 50th Grand Prix win - becoming the ninth rider to reach that mark, and the youngest to do so, at 22 years, 243 days - with a final-lap pass on Lorenzo at the Australian Grand Prix. Márquez crashed out in Malaysia after a collision with Valentino Rossi. The incident was reviewed by Race Direction after the race, where Rossi was given three penalty points - enough to enforce a start from the back of the grid for the final race in Valencia. Márquez finished second to Lorenzo in Valencia, with Lorenzo taking the world title.
Márquez started off the year with a third in Qatar and a win in Argentina, which was a frantic flag-to-flag race due to tyre problems. The riders had to switch bikes, due to concerns over the life span of the Michelin tyres. Michelin withdrew both of its planned rear tyre compounds on safety grounds following a scary crash for Scott Redding during the final practice. Márquez made it two wins in a row with 6 second win over Lorenzo at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas to claim an early championship lead. The first European race, held in Jerez Spain, was the first real test of Márquez' new mentality of patience and he proved it by finishing third in his home Grand Prix behind Yamaha men Rossi and Lorenzo. Le Mans wasn't a good race for Márquez as Honda suffered with lack of acceleration. He pushed in braking zones to try remain in the podium battle but, only finished thirteenth following a crash with Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso in turn 7 with thirteen laps remaining in the race.
After the bad result in France, Márquez and his team worked to improve the results and maintain the leadership. Their work gave them three second places in the next three races, the Italian Grand Prix, Spanish Grand Prix, and Dutch TT and first place in GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring.
After these four good results, he slowed down with a fifth position at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, followed by a third position in Brno and two fourth positions at Silverstone and Misano. But then came the Aragon Grand Prix which Márquez felt really comfortable in. He said he thought it suits his riding style better and proved it by winning the race.
Márquez clinched his third MotoGP title and fifth world title overall at Motegi, Japan with three rounds remaining after Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo crashed out of the race. Márquez' team created a T-shirt with the logo "Give me five" to celebrate his fifth world title overall. The 3 last races were at Australia, Malaysia and Valencia.
At the Australian Grand Prix he crashed out of the race while leading, he then crashed while chasing the leading trio at the Malaysian Grand Prix in tricky wet conditions but remounted the bike and finished in 11th position adding 5 more to his points tally.
Márquez finished the 2016 season with a second place at the Valencian Grand Prix, after struggling to get past the likes of Valentino Rossi and Andrea Iannone in the first part of the race. Márquez managed to break away from them in the second half of the race and he began cutting down the gap to the race leader Jorge Lorenzo lap by lap which proved futile as the race drew to a close with Lorenzo crossing the finish line a second ahead of him.
Márquez started the 2017 season with a 4th place finish in Qatar, followed by a crash while leading in Argentina. He took his first win of the year in Texas, followed by 2nd place behind teammate Pedrosa at Jerez. He then suffered a second crash of the season in France, again while leading, followed by a disappointing 6th place finish at Mugello, struggling in both races with the Honda's lack of acceleration off the corners. He finished second in Catalunya, despite suffering several crashes through practice and qualifying. He then took another podium finish in the Netherlands, beating Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow in a close battle at the end of the race.
However, from then onwards fortunes started to swing in Marc's favour, taking his eighth consecutive victory at the Sachsenring in Germany, at the same time taking the lead of the championship. He then scored back-to-back victories in the Czech Republic, after outfoxing his rivals by pitting early for slick tires on a drying track. A week later in Austria he narrowly lost out to Dovizioso in a thrilling race. He then suffered a rare engine failure at Silverstone, while Dovizioso took another victory, leaving the pair tied on points. He then took back by taking back-to-back wins; first in a wet race in Misano, and then at his home track at Aragon. In Japan, he was again beaten in a last lap fight by Dovizioso, in a similar situation to Austria, but won a week later in Australia, in what many felt was one of the greatest races in recent years, while Dovizioso finished 13th after running off track. Márquez missed out on sealing the title in Malaysia, finishing fourth while Dovi won, meaning the title would go to the last round in Valencia. Márquez started the race from pole, but narrowly avoided crashing after a dramatic save at turn one, dropping from 1st to 5th position. However, moments later Dovizioso crashed at turn eight, immediately handing Marc his 6th world title, the youngest ever rider to achieve this feat.
By the end of the 2017 season his MotoGP victory total was 35 which placed him in the top ten in wins all time and second for Honda in the premier class.
- Roland Potter