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How Alex Marquez matured to take the Moto3™ crown in 2014

How Alex Marquez matured to take the Moto3™ crown in 2014

The 2014 World Championship saw Alex Marquez step up from being the Rookie of the Year in 2013 to be the Moto3™ title winner this season. The Spaniard clinched the title on home territory at Valencia with his third placed finish at the final round.

However, when the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team announced their switch to the Honda Moto3 machine for this season’s campaign Marquez and his teammate Alex Rins knew they would need a good winter of testing to become familiar with the new bike.

Any doubts about their ability to adapt quickly were soon put to rest as the pair secured a 1-2 on the grid at round one in Qatar with Marquez in second. Marquez’s form continued into the race where he finished second, after a small mistake just allowed Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jack Miller to slip past and claim victory.

Miller would become Marquez’s main title rival, whilst riders such as Romano Fenati and Rins would also win races.

The Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas saw Marquez suffer his first DNF of the season, allowing Miller and also Fenati to build a solid points advantage over the Honda rider. Argentina had Marquez qualify down in 11th as Miller claimed another pole position. Excellent race craft allowed Marquez to fight up to second position, gaining valuable points on Miller.

The championship then returned to Europe with round four at Jerez, but this was a difficult race for Marquez as he struggled to seventh, two seconds off the leading group and his worst finish of the year. Fenati would win the round. Miller led the championship with 79 points whilst Marquez was fifth with 49.

Miller returned to the top step of the podium in Le Mans with Rins joining him on the second step of the rostrum. Meanwhile Marquez finished fifth and the gap to Miller continued to grow.

Mugello was a round to forget for both title rivals as a move by Miller resulted in the Australian and Marquez going down together. Marquez was now 44 points down on Miller in the championship.

Barcelona-Catalunya saw Marquez bounce back on home territory, winning the race by over three seconds, one of the largest margins of the season. This began the younger Marquez brother’s comeback for the title.

The Dutch TT made it two wins in a row for Marquez, again storming away as both Fenati and Miller failed to finish the race. Miller returned to victory in Germany some weeks later with Marquez fourth.

Indianapolis saw Marquez again finish off the podium, but pick up vital points in sixth as Miller lost the drag to the line to Efren Vazquez. Throughout the season Honda introduced a series of upgrades on the Moto3 bike as they sought to end KTM’s domination.

Neither the Spanish or Australian rider finished on the podium at Brno, Marquez just ahead of Miller. By this point Marquez had moved into second in the championship, but was still 23 points behind Miller.

Both Silverstone and Misano saw Marquez take second behind teammate Rins, as Miller fought for sixth and third respectively.

Marquez’ home race at Aragon saw his championship spring back to life, contact between himself and Miller saw the Australian finish in 27th as Marquez took a solid second. This moved the Honda rider to the top of the standings for the first time all year.

Round 15 at Motegi saw the advantage swing yet further in the favour of Marquez as he won a hectic race which saw Miller and Danny Kent run wide and touch in the closing corners. This left Marquez on 231 points with Miller on 206.

Phillip Island saw Miller return to the top step of the podium for the first time since Sachsenring with Marquez just behind. Malaysia represented the first chance for Marquez to seal the title, but after an epic fight the Spanish rider finished the race fifth and Miller second, meaning there was an 11 point gap at the top of the standings as the riders arrived in Valencia for the final round.

But Marquez would not fold under pressure and rode intelligently to get the required points in third in front of an ecstatic home crowd at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, to move up to Moto2™ in 2015 as the Moto3 World Champion.

Tags:
Moto3, 2014, GP GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0

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