Honda Takes Remarkable Hat-Trick of MotoGP Triple Crowns
Marc Marquez rode to his 12th victory of 2019 at chilly, windswept Valencia to conclude his best-ever Grand Prix season and complete the coveted triple crown for Honda.
Honda Takes Remarkable Hat-Trick of MotoGP Triple Crowns
CIRCUIT RICARDO TORMO, Valencia, November 17, 2019
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) rode to his 12th victory of 2019 at chilly, windswept Valencia today to conclude his best-ever Grand Prix season and complete the coveted triple crown for Honda.
At last month’s Thai Grand Prix Marquez won the MotoGP Riders World Championship, next time out in Japan Honda secured the MotoGP Constructors World Championship and today the Repsol Honda Team won the MotoGP Teams World Championship.
This is the third consecutive year that Honda has utterly dominated motorcycling’s fastest and most technically demanding race series with a remarkable triple-crown success.
And this triple crown is Honda’s second of 2019, following the triple crown of title victory in MotoGP as well as the MXGP World Championship with Tim Gajser and the Trial World Championship with Toni Bou.
Indeed Honda has been the dominant force since the advent of MotoGP’s four-stroke class in 2002, both with its riders and its range of superb machines: the RC211V, the RC212V and the current RC213V.
During those 18 MotoGP seasons Honda riders have won the MotoGP Riders World Championship ten times, Honda has taken the MotoGP Constructors World Championship on 12 occasions and the Repsol Honda Team has won the team prize ten times.
Today’s race wasn’t only memorable for Honda’s success, it will also be remembered as the last race for Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V), who announced his retirement on Thursday, bringing to a close an illustrious career that included five World Championships and 68 Grand Prix victories. The 32-year-old Spaniard finished 13th, taking three points to help his team to the teams title. Fittingly for the rider who has raced with the number 99 for many years, today’s race was attended by 99,000 fans.
Marquez started the race from second place on the grid but didn’t get a great getaway and had to fight his way through from fifth place at the end of the first lap. From there the magical 26-year-old Spaniard began moving forward like only he knows how, passing Alex Rins, Andrea Dovizioso and Jack Miller to move into second place one lap later.
Then he started chasing down early leader Fabio Quartararo, who had started from pole position and was already seven tenths ahead after two laps. Marquez relentlessly closed the gap aboard his RC213V, until he was ready to attack on the eighth of 27 laps, having already set a new lap record on the fourth lap. He made a superb move on his young rival, squeezing inside at the Turn 11 right-hander. From there he immediately began to open a gap to deny Quartararo the chance to counter-attack.
By lap 18 Marquez was a second in front and from there he simply had to maintain that gap. But this wasn’t easy – the weather has been cold and windy all weekend here, causing numerous tumbles because riders have struggled to keep their tires at optimum temperature. Even Marquez had fallen twice in practice.
This has been a remarkable season for a rider who had already made his mark on MotoGP history in previous campaigns. The winner of the 2010 125cc world title, the 2012 Moto2 crown and the 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 MotoGP championships had his greatest-ever season in 2019.
From the 19 races he scored 12 victories, six second places and one DNF, which adds up to 420 points, the highest points score in the Grand Prix history. He also achieved the biggest title-winning margin in 71 years of GP racing, ending the season 151 points ahead of runner-up Andrea Dovizioso.
His sixth MotoGP title in seven years is also the greatest title hit rate since Giacomo Agostini dominated the racing in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During 2019 Marquez scored Honda’s 300th premier-class victory and helped the company to an historic 25th premier-class Constructors World Champion during the 60th anniversary season of Honda’s debut in the smaller categories of Grand Prix racing.
His 56th MotoGP victory took his total to 82 over all three classes (including 16 in Moto2 and ten in 125s) which puts him fourth overall in the all-time winners list, behind Agostini, Rossi and Angel Nieto. And he is third in the premier-class list, behind Rossi and Agostini.
Team-mates Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) and Johann Zarco (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) both fell victim to the treacherous conditions.
Crutchlow slid off at Turn One on lap 11, while holding ninth place. It wasn’t the season finale wanted by the 34-year-old Briton who has scored three podiums this year: third places in Qatar and Germany and a brilliant second behind Marquez in Australia.
Zarco, who was substituting for Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V), slid off at Turn Six immediately after Danilo Petrucci on lap 14. While in the gravel trap Zarco was hit by the fallen bike of Iker Lecuona, who had crashed moments later. This sudden rash of crashes suggested that grip was momentarily reduced at the corner, either due to the wind and/or dust on the track.
MotoGP-bound Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) ended his career in Moto2 with a superb victory, snatching first place from long-time leader Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex) halfway through the penultimate lap. This was the 24-year-old South African’s third consecutive victory and it moved him into second place in the World Championship behind Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex), who ended the race in 30th position after sliding off on lap 13 of 16 and remounting.
The race was a four-way thriller, with 33-year-old Swiss Luthi and Binder leading the way, just ahead of local Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up Speed Up) and Italian Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Temporary Forward MV) who disputed the last place in the podium.
Binder unleashed several attacks on Luthi, only to run wide and drop back to second. Finally on the last-but-one lap he edged into the lead at Turn Eight and managed to hold the position. From there he laid down a perfect lap to deny Luthi the chance to counter-attack. He crossed the finish line 0.735 seconds ahead, with Navarro a further 0.31 seconds back in third and Manzi right behind in fourth. The top four was covered by 1.185 seconds.
Marquez, who secured the 2019 Moto2 World Championship last time out in Malaysia, started from the fifth row of the grid but fought his way through to fifth. He was still some way behind the leading pack when he slid off, before remounting.
Last year’s Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) was next in fifth, almost seven seconds further back and just ahead of Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex) and Xavi Vierge (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex).
Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up Speed Up) finished ninth to secure the Rookie of the Year crown.
The last race of the year was challenging for rookie team-mates Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex) and Dimas Ekky Pratama (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) who rode to 23rd and 25th. Chantra has finished in the points on six occasions this season, an impressive record for the 20-year-old Thai Grand Prix apprentice, but today didn’t go the way he had planned. Meanwhile Ekky Pratama completed his last race with the team.
Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) took the first victory of his Grand Prix career in the last race of the 2019 Moto3 season. The 16-year-old Spaniard grabbed the lead at the last corner to take the checkered flag 0.005 seconds in front of Andrea Migno and give Honda its 14th victory from 19 races.
Third man on the podium was another 16-year-old Spaniard, Xavier Artigas (Leopard Impala Junior Team Honda NSF250RW), who was contesting his very first Grand Prix after recently securing third place in the Moto3 Junior World Championship.
Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) took fourth to make it three NSF250RW machines in the top four, but the 22-year-old from Chiba was bitterly disappointed to miss the podium by just 0.066 seconds. It was Suzuki’s third fourth place from the last four races.
The race was delayed by an oil spill and then stopped and restarted after a multiple pile-up that had five riders crash together at Turn Ten. Conditions were tricky due to cold track temperatures, but the final 16-lap sprint had half a dozen riders disputing victory until the final laps.
Artigas took the lead at two-third distance and looked capable of taking a dream win on his World Championship debut, but he lost the lead when he had a slide at Turn One of the penultimate lap. He fought back in fine style from fifth to secure an amazing podium result. Early leader Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) slipped to seventh at the finish.
Garcia is the 11th different winner of the 2019 Moto3 season which ends with Honda taking its third consecutive Riders World Championship and its fifth in the last six seasons, as well as its third consecutive Moto3 Constructors World Championship and its fourth in the last five seasons. And five of the top six riders in the final points standings rode the NSF250RW, which provides them with a winning combination of excellent horsepower and a friendly, neutral chassis.
Remarkable rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) made a phenomenal comeback from the back row of the grid to finish the race in tenth, which secured a well-deserved tenth place overall for the 18-year-old from Tokyo. Ogura came through from 18th on lap one of the restart to his top-ten result.
Team-mate Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) also had an impressive ride in his last outing for the team. The 19-year-old from Fukuoka raced through from 22nd on the first lap to move up to 13th at the finish.
World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) wanted to finish his time in Moto3 – he moves to Moto2 in 2020 – with a fourth win in a row, but it was not to be. The 22-year-old Italian crashed out in the restart. He eventually got going again to cross the finish line in last place.
Today’s racing completed MotoGP’s longest-ever season, with 19 races across all three classes. Preparation for the 20-race 2020 season commence on Tuesday with MotoGP testing here at Valencia and later in the week with Moto2 and Moto3 testing at Jerez. Next season starts in Qatar on March 8.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st
“A perfect end to a perfect season with the victory! I put a little extra pressure on myself with the gold helmet, so I needed to be extra smart! We did exactly what we wanted to do and won the Teams Championship, taking the triple crown in this amazing season. Always the Riders Championship is the first objective, but I was happy to help win the Teams Championship, not just for them but also for Jorge who has been a great champion, a hard rival and a great team-mate. It will be difficult to improve on this year because we rode in a perfect way."
Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team: 13th
“Today was a special day. On the grid I had a very different feeling to all my other races and certainly in the opening laps I was more cautious than other races because the conditions were very difficult and I wanted to finish my last race. I focused mostly on myself in the race and I am pleased to end with some points certainly. It is great to help the Repsol Honda Team win the Teams Championship after an unbelievable season from Marc. I want to say thank you to all of Honda as they have treated me with the utmost respect and professionalism. I wish them all the best for the future."
Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: DNF
“I feel okay after the crash – but it's disappointing to crash out of the last round of the season here at Valencia. Ironically I felt quite good in the race and was trying to bridge the gap to the guys in front of me. I braked a little too late going into Turn One. I got on the dirty part of the track and I nearly saved the bike but didn't quite manage it. Now it's important to work at improving the bike for next year. I don't know what the full testing schedule will be here over the next few days, but I'm looking forward to the test."
Johann Zarco, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: DNF
“It was a little bit of a difficult race and I knew it was going to be a long race. I thought maybe I could have a good pace and I was around tenth place, which was okay. After overtaking Pol Espargaro I tried to get a better pace. I saw the [Danilo] Petrucci crash and don't know if l lost focus because I crashed in the same corner. Then I was sliding along thinking, what a shame, I lost the race, and I didn't check behind me, so the bike of Lecuona totally took me away. I have a big pain in my left ankle but it's not so bad because it's ligament damage, not bones. It's a shame to finish the season in that way. I learned a lot of things about the Honda. It didn't come easy, but MotoGP isn't easy! Now I cross my fingers that I can recover well and then we will see what be my future will be."
Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 1st
“I want to thank the team and KTM for all the work they have done throughout the year. The start of the season wasn't easy but we kept fighting and working hard. We were in with a shot of winning the championship, and being just three points away from the title is incredible. Throughout the weekend I was riding alone, not following anyone, and today it was a bit harder trying to hunt down the other riders. I stayed focused, gave it all I could and in the end we did it. I have finished my time in Moto2 with a victory."
Thomas Luthi, Dynavolt Intact GP: 2nd
“I absolutely did everything I could. I tried to the end but it wasn't enough. The race wasn't so long, so I pushed very hard during the early and mid-stages that I used my front tire a lot. Also the wind was very strong, which didn't give a good feeling going into the corners. I knew Brad would attack! I'm disappointed to lose second place in the championship, but to finish the season on the podium is great."
Jorge Navarro, MB Conveyors Speed Up: 3rd
“This is not such a bad way to mark my 100th Grand Prix – pole position and a podium finish. I'm happy because it wasn't an easy race. The conditions changed after the start, which made me struggle a lot with front-end feel. In some sectors I could catch Tom and Brad, but in other sectors they were faster and I was right on the limit. The podium was the maximum I could do and for that I had to fight Manzi on the last lap. I'm happy with my eighth podium of the year."
Somkiat Chantra, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 23rd
“I'm not satisfied, but at least I was able to finish the race, in my first time here with a Moto2 bike. I was hoping for a better result, but many riders are fast here in Valencia. Now I've finished my first season in the World Championship, during which I scored 23 points, and I've accumulated a lot of experience. I'm looking forward to starting to prepare for next season."
Dimas Ekky Pratama, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 25th
“I'm glad I had the chance to race the World Championship, but unfortunately I had a bad injury in the middle of the season. This championship is not easy, even more, if you are out for many races. In my case, I missed seven rounds while the rest of the competitors were working and improving. Step by step, I've been recovering my rhythm, achieving my best position in Malaysia, where I finished 18th. Here in Valencia, I tried to be fully concentrated, especially at the start. But I had a bad feeling with the bike in the entry of the corners. That made me lose a lot of speed, mainly in the second corner. Now it's time to go back home. All the best for the team."
Sergio Garcia, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 1st
“I can't describe how I feel after winning my first race. This year we have gained great experience in the World Championship and I have reached a great level of camaraderie with my crew. It was a strange day, and afterwards the first thing I wanted to know was if Foggia was OK after his crash. After the red flag, we had a shorter race. As on the first start, I tried to give everything from the get-go and see what we could achieve. The wind had picked up, but the bike worked very well for the whole race. I was comfortable from the start, fought until the last corner and I managed to win. Because of how we did in Malaysia, I knew I could be at the front, but I didn't expect to win. The last lap was us pushing to the fullest, trying to maintain the position to take first on the last corner."
Xavier Artigas, Leopard Impala Junior Team: 3rd
“What an amazing day – it's a dream come true to finish my first Grand Prix on the podium! All weekend I've felt good on my bike here, which gave me some confidence for the race, which was very crazy! There were a lot of battles, so at one point I tried to open a gap, but it didn't quite work out. All my thanks to my family, to Toni Elias [former Grand Prix winner], to all the mechanics in the team. This is an amazing result for the team!"
Tatsuki Suzuki, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 4th
“Of course it is very disappointing to finish the last race of the season so close to the podium. I tried at my maximum to get into the top three places and sometimes I managed it but I didn't quite have the pace to stay there. The conditions were quite difficult because the weather here was cold and windy, which gave everyone some worries because there wasn't much grip out there."
Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: 10th
“We started the weekend badly, struggling a lot with the set-up. About my race performance, I'm happy because I started from the back on the grid and I finished tenth. Also, I've finished tenth in the championship. I think that's not so bad for a rookie, but to be strong for 2020 I need something more. We must find this during the winter tests, to be ready on the first race in Qatar."
Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: 13th
“The weather conditions didn't help me this weekend, and after a bad qualifying session, I started the race towards the back. My aim was only to finish the race. To finish 13th is not the best, but I'm happy to finish my last race with this team. I'm disappointed with the results of the season because we started very well in Qatar. I would like to thank the team, Honda Motor and all the people who are supporting me."
|1||Marc MÁRQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|3||Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|5||Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|6||Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|7||Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|8||Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|9||Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|10||Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|11||Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|12||Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|13||Jorge LORENZO (Repsol Honda Team)|
|14||Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|15||Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|RT||Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|RT||Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|RT||Danilo PETRUCCI (Ducati Team)|
|RT||Johann ZARCO (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)|
|RT||Iker LECUONA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|RT||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)|
|RT||Michele PIRRO (Ducati Team)|
|1||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|2||Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|3||Jorge NAVARRO (MB Conveyors)|
|4||Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)|
|5||Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|6||Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)|
|7||Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|8||Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|9||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (MB Conveyors)|
|10||Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|11||Mattia PASINI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)|
|12||Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)|
|13||Jake DIXON (Inde Angel Nieto Team)|
|14||Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|15||Remy GARDNER (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|16||Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|17||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)|
|18||Joe ROBERTS (American Racing KTM)|
|19||Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|20||Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|21||Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|22||Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|23||Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|24||Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|25||Dimas EKKY PRATAMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|26||Philipp OETTL (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|27||Tommaso MARCON (NTS RW Racing GP )|
|28||Xavi CARDELUS (Inde Angel Nieto Team)|
|29||Adam NORRODIN (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|30||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|RT||Sean Dylan KELLY (American Racing KTM)|
|RT||Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)|
|1||Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|2||Andrea MIGNO (Mugen Race)|
|3||Xavier ARTIGAS (Leopard Impala Junior Team)|
|4||Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|5||Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)|
|6||Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)|
|7||Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)|
|8||Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|9||Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|10||Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)|
|11||Stefano NEPA (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)|
|12||Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|13||Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)|
|14||Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|15||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)|
|16||Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|17||Romano FENATI (VNE Snipers)|
|18||Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)|
|19||Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|20||Albert ARENAS (Valresa Angel Nieto Team)|
|21||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)|
|RT||Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|RT||Raul FERNANDEZ (Valresa Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)|
|RT||John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|RT||Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)|
|RT||Jaume MASIA (Mugen Race)|
|RT||Carlos TATAY (Fundacion Andreas Perez 77)|
|RT||Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|RT||Jeremy ALCOBA (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3)|
|RT||Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|