In a stunningly dramatic and tense Final Showdown at Valencia, Marc Marquez took his sixth world title and fourth MotoGP World Championship despite a huge front end moment into Turn 1 and a run off track, coming home third in the race to defend his crown.
Title rival Andrea Dovizioso similarly suffered a run off from P4, but the Italian was unable to save it and sadly crashed out of contention in the race and Championship.
At the front, the race was a duel to the line between Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco – with the race decided in favour of the Spaniard on final lap as Pedrosa pounced and defended to perfection for his second victory of the year.
Marquez got the holeshot from pole, with teammate Pedrosa slicing through from the second row to take over in second – and Zarco pushed down to third. Dovizioso made a good start to move up to sixth, then past Andrea Iannone and glued to the back of the second Ducati of Jorge Lorenzo.
Early on, Zarco took over in the lead – with Marquez seeing him coming and slotting into second. Pedrosa remained in third, with the two Ducati machines glued together around a second behind and the tense tick of the clock counting down.
After a Zarco error, a Marquez pass and then the Frenchman hitting back, laps ticked down before Marquez struck for the lead – and ran wide. Sliding on his knee for a stunning save into Turn 1, the reigning Champion headed for the gravel – but managed to rejoin, yet behind Dovizioso.
Lorenzo then bolted to chase down Pedrosa and Zarco ahead, before the Ducati Team rider went down suddenly – and just as suddenly, the dream was over for his teammate. A run off into the gravel that couldn’t be saved saw Dovizioso’s title hopes disappear after a nevertheless stunning season to take the runner up spot.
Dani Pedrosa vs Johann Zarco was then the duel for the win, with Pedrosa initially attacking at the final corner but the Frenchman able to hit back.
As the last lap dawned, the Spaniard tucked in and then pounced into Turn 1, managing to hold off Zarco around the tight Circuit Ricardo Tormo Circuit to take his second victory of the season.
Marquez, back into the podium places after the falls ahead, kept his calm to the end to take third and the title, making him the youngest ever six-time World Champion and the youngest to take four premier class Championships.
Alex Rins put in an impressive rookie ride into fourth, ahead of Valentino Rossi after a more difficult race for the ‘Doctor’. Iannone dropped back slightly after a run off at Turn 1 to take sixth, ahead of a great final race with EG 0,0 Marc VDS for Jack Miller in P7.
Cal Crutchlow moved up after crashing out in Q1 and qualifying outside the top ten to cross the line in P8, with Michele Pirro putting in another solid wildcard appearance to come home in ninth. Tito Rabat also impressed, locking out the top ten.
Bradley Smith rounded out the Austrian factory’s first season in the premier class in P11, and it was a tough weekend and final race of 2017 for third-placed in the Championship Maverick Viñales, as the Spaniard came home in P12. Danilo Petrucci, Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) completed the points in the Final Showdown, with the dust settling around the dramatic final race as the flag flew.
That’s a wrap on a stunning season to savour, with 2017 having provided some of the most incredible racing ever seen. Marquez retains the crown, and Dovizioso fought to the end – and on Tuesday, the clock resets once again.
Iannone back on top of the MotoGP timesh
Dovizioso fastest on the second day at J
Huichol style helmet for Rossi at Sepnag
Iannone takes to the top of the timeshee
Marquez quickest in Valencia Day 2
Yamaha top the timesheets, and Marquez c
Perdosa happy to end the season with a w
We wanted this title as much as Marc did
Marquez hails "an incredible opponent" D
Zarco sees he must be happy not sad afte
2018 MotoGP calendar updated
British GP to remain at Silverstone for
Zarco thinks he can fight for the win on
Marquez would be more nervous if Dovizio
Marquez heads the timesheets & automatic
Iannone tops Valencia FP1, with Marquez
Folger making progress on the road to re
2018 MotoGP provisional entry list
Moving to Ducati was the right decision
A "step" with the bike gives Pedrosa con
Pol Espargaro please by KTM’s progressio
Rossi feels Yamaha could have been compe
Zarco was thinking he could win
Dovizioso top in Warm Up, Marquez eighth
Dovizioso feels ready for the 25 points
The rhythm is more of a question for the
Marquez fastest in FP4 after recovering
Dovizioso heads FP1 as action opens at S
Van der Mark targets to improve in every
Viñales planned to push in the last 5 la
Aleix Espargaro forced to si out of Mala
Crutchlow says this is what MotoGP is al
Iannone trying his best on every lap
Dovizioso will have to give it our all i
Zarco so happy he could fight for victor
If you don’t want to play the game, stay
Marquez wins the fight for Phillip Islan
Marquez leads Viñales and Pedrosa in wet
Dovizioso: “The reality is different to
Marquez throws down the gauntlet with po
Marquez tops wet Philip Island FP3
Crutchlow expecting "a big battle" at Ph
Aleix Espargaro heads Marquez & Dovizios
Pedrosa had no control on the bike at th
Lorenzo unhappy with Zarco's move at Mot
Dovizioso & Marquez speak about their du
Petrucci was starting to think about his
Dovizioso wins last corner duel to beat
Zarco takes shock pole in Japan
Dovizioso leads the way to Q2, Rossi thr
Crutchlow & Lorenzo disagree over FP1 cr
Aleix Espargaro aiming for podium after
Japanese GP: Dovizioso beats Marquez to
Marquez tops Japanese GP FP1 as rain mix
Nozane to replace Folger at Motegi
Motegi GP Preview: The heat is on
Folger forced to withdraw from Japanese
Rossi did everything possible to get pre
Marquez had to revert to 2016 way of thi
Smith and Espargaro confirmed at KTM for
Aoyama to replace Miller at Motegi
Title key is is to treat all rivals equa
Training accident rules Miller out of Mo
Aleix Espargaro thought h could have a g
Vinales suffered from tyre choice at Ara
Rossi "quite proud, very happy and satis
Marquez "took a lot of risk" to win home
Lorenzo feels he is getting closer to th
Marquez leads Spanish podium lockout and
Vinales pleased to be on pole
Lorenzo believes a good start will be th
Rossi thinks he can do the race but know
Marquez thinks "pushing a bit too much"
Vinales takes pole, incredible front row
2017/2018 MotoGP test calendar released
MotoGP FP3: Marquez tops session, Rossi
Pedrosa: "Tomorrow we’ll see which condi
Rossi quite happy and did not feel a lot
Lorenzo happy with "quite competitive" d
Loris Baz set to move to WorldSBK in 201
MotoGP FP2: Pedrosa sinks into the 1:59s
MotoGP FP1: Marquez tops times in sketch
MotoGP Aragon Preview: The Championship
Simeon joins Avintia for 2018 & 2019
Rossi passed fit to ride in the Aragon G
Yamaha can be very fast at Aragon - Vina
Pedrosa hopes he can battle for the podi
Folger wants to win the top Rookie battl
The last five races will be very intense
Zarco aiming to fight for the podium at
Rossi will attempt to take part in the A
Rossi successfully wraps up second ridin
Rossi completes first laps back on track
Folger "expected alot more" from Misano
Pedrosa " tried to survive" during Misan
Provisional 2018 MotoGP calendar announc
Pirro lost gap to Vinales on his battle
Van der Mark to replace Rossi at Aragon
Dovizioso's feeling on the bike wasn't g
Marquez played all his cards for Misano