The Repsol Honda Team enjoyed a dream day in Valencia on Sunday, with Dani Pedrosa winning the Grand Prix (his seventh at Valencia across all classes, his 54th career win, and his 31st in the MotoGP class) while Marc Marquez took the third step of the podium to earn the 2017 World Championship Title (his career sixth, and his fourth in the MotoGP class in five years); and Honda securing the “Triple Crown,” comprising the Constructor, Rider, and Team Championships.
Marc and Dani were also the two riders to score the most podium finishes this year, twelve and nine respectively, making the Repsol Honda Team the most successful team of 2017, with eight double-podium finishes.
Marc and Dani got away brilliantly at the start, entering the first corner in first and second positions, but Johann Zarco assumed the lead on lap four. Marc stuck to him for 20 laps and then made the pass, but he immediately ran wide in turn 1 and almost crashed. He made one of is signature incredible saves but dropped to fifth behind Zarco, Dani, Jorge Lorenzo and title contender Andrea Dovizioso.
Dani, who had been closely chasing them, engaged the Frenchman in a battle for the win and finally passed him on the last lap. In the meanwhile, crashes by both Ducati riders allowed Marc to celebrate his incredible sixth Title, from the third step of the podium.
“I’m living a dream. ‘Six Titles’ are big words,” Marquez said. “The truth is that I’m incredibly happy because we worked so much this year, and today the race was incredibly tense and exciting—a bit ‘Marquez Style.’ I made a mistake, but I also made my best save of the year.”
“From that moment on, I just tried to finish the race in a good position. I’m sorry that Andrea didn’t finish the race, as he deserved to do so. He had an incredible season and I would have liked to have him on the podium with me today.”
“The key to the year has been our mentality. In our world it’s very important to remain positive and motivated during the difficult moments. Some things happened to us at the beginning of the season but when we found the way to sort things out, everything went better.”
“Congratulations to Honda and the entire team for the Triple Crown. It’s an amazing achievement. Winning the Title at the last race of the season in front of our fans is one of the best things possible, really special. Now I want to enjoy this with my entire team and my family, and after that we’ll start to work for next year.”