The Repsol Honda Team enjoyed a dream day in Valencia today, with Dani Pedrosa winning the Grand Prix (his seventh at Valencia across all classes, his 54th in career, and his 31st in the MotoGP class); Marc Marquez taking the third step of the podium to earn the 2017 World Championship Title (his sixth in career, 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.
Marc Marquez 93
2017 World Champion
"I'm living a dream. 'Six Titles' are big words. 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."
Dani Pedrosa 26
"Obviously I'm very very happy because a win is a win, and this was a very tough and hard-fought one. Today we had a chance because we got a good start and the setup was working well, so we took it. The track wasn't easy as front grip wasn't perfect, and in fact we saw a lot of crashes in the race. I was just behind Marc when he made that save and it was incredible. The smoke, the noise, the speed-wow, impressive! I realized that the track had a limit, maybe because the rear had more grip, which pushed the front. Anyway, I tried to manage the front grip, but then in the last three laps I gave it everything to pass Johann. He was so good into the corners but finally I passed him on the last lap. I'm so happy to have won in front of my crowd, and I would like to dedicate this victory to my family, friends, fans, and the team. This was a fantastic day for all of us, as Marc clinched the Rider Title and we secured the Constructor and Team Titles. I also move up one place in the Championship, and that's great as well."
HRC Director - General Manager Race Operations Management Division
"Today our riders and team did a perfect job. The race was very tense for everybody, but the final result was amazing! Marc was brave and pushed hard as always, managing to get on the podium despite a big scare! Dani finished the Championship with a victory, so I don't think we could have asked for more today. I would like to thank the riders, everyone in the Repsol Honda Team, and HRC at home. We'll keep giving our 100% to continue in this way."
"Today was the 'perfect storm' for HRC and Honda, as we won the Rider Title, Constructor Title, and Team Title, earning the Triple Crown. Of course I am extremely happy with this fantastic result, and I would like to congratulate Marc and Dani for their hard work and commitment, as well as all the HRC Engineers and our Sponsors, who together have contributed to this incredible result. I am very proud of all them."