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Going into the season finale, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) holds a 21-point advantage over Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in the standings, with the rider from Cervera chasing his sixth World Championship and fourth in MotoGP™. It’s a stunning rate of success already for the number 93, but it hasn’t come easy – with Marquez one of the most prolific crashers on the grid. This season, the Championship leader has taken a tumble 25 times so far - the most of any non-rookie.
In 2013, when Marquez himself was a rookie, he fell 15 times. Getting to grips with the premier class and testing the limits, the number 93 nevertheless only suffered one crash out of contention in a race.
Mugello 2013 - MotoGP - RACE - Action - Marc Marquez - crash
That was at Mugello, and it came after a weekend filled with incidents – including one of the most hair-raising crashes in recent times, from which the eventual Champion incredibly escaped unharmed.
2013: Marc Marquez’s lucky escape at Mugello
2014 again saw Marquez take the crown, beginning the year with his incredible run of ten wins in a row. That’s also the season in which the Repsol Honda rider has crashed the least so far, with only 11 incidents throughout the year. With such a big points gap, the pressure was off by the time he suffered his first crash in a race, at Misano, and even more so once the title was wrapped up at Motegi – leaving Marquez pushing to the limit at Phillip Island to try and make as big a gap as possible. It wasn’t to be, but the reigning Champion was pragmatic: “It’s better that this happened now, so that I gain experience for next year.”
Phillip Island 2014 - MotoGP - RACE - Action - Marc Marquez - Crash
Next year being 2015, when Marquez wholly avoided the same mistake at Phillip Island, winning the stunning Island Battle. But there were a number of DNFs beforehand that saw him dent his title hopes, including a crash at Catalunya and another when trying to stay with leader Jorge Lorenzo at Aragon. Although the Repsol Honda rider only crashed two more times during the season, more incidents happened in races, rather than in practice.
Marquez crashes out of the #AragonGP
After losing out on the crown the year before, 2016 saw Marquez on a mission to take back the throne. He crashed 17 times, but crucially only one of those came in a race before he wrapped up the title. That was at Le Mans, and it was a mistake mirrored by his title challenger this season - Andrea Dovizioso. Or more, the two were perfectly in sync…
Marquez & Dovizioso crash in sync
2017 has seen Marquez back in full attack mode, and the crash statistics are his highest yet: 25 for the year so far. The first in a race was in Argentina, before another at Le Mans. The reigning Champion then finished every race up until Silverstone, where he suffered another DNF but this time a mechanical. Although not consisting of crashes alone, if Marquez wins the crown it will be the first time since 1998 that a rider has done so with three or more DNFs.
Marquez: "I didn't expect that mistake!"
It’s also the season that has seen Marquez pull off what may be his most impressive save yet – somehow staying upright in this stunner at Sepang.
Save of the season? Marquez talks near-crash in FP4
On his approach and the amount he crashes, Marquez gave one of his quotes of the year following the San Marino GP, succintly standing his ground:
“I crash because I am pushing. I give 100% from FP1 until the race, and try to do my best. This is my style, and it’s given me five World Championships.”
With a 21-point lead, that may be six at Valencia – so tune in to see if Marquez can take the crown on Sunday 12th November.
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