Marc Marquez wins 4th MotoGP title on last race of season

"I'm happy because we tried until the end, and it was open until 10 laps to the end", said Dovizioso, who saw Marquez's slide and save but could do nothing to take advantage of it.

Watched by a crowd of 110,000 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, the race pitted the 24-year-old Repsol Honda rider against Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.

Honda's Dani Pedrosa won the race, with Yamaha rookie Johann Zarco in second. Even with the title in hand, Marquez battled his way to third, finishing behind Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha's Johann Zarco and the race victor on the other factory Honda, Dani Pedrosa.

It was a tense finale at the end of a close-fought 2017 MotoGP season.

Dovizoso had the slimmest chance of taking his first MotoGP world title yesterday but needed to win and for Marc Marquez to finish lower than 11th.

Lorenzo was issued a coded instruction - "Suggested Mapping 8" - to move aside, followed by a pitboard showing '-1' but was still running ahead of his team-mate when he crashed out of third place with six laps to go.

The home favourite, 24, won the title a year ago and looks certain to retain his crown.

Catalan's fans streamed onto the track, handing Marquez a giant red die, and laying down a mock board game. "'Six Titles' are big words". We both made a mistake. Teammate Pedrosa sliced through from the second row to take over in second, and Zarco was pushed down to third. "Just because Jorge tried to help me to be smooth than the weekend doesn't mean that I was smooth".

"During the race I was trying to be calm and control the situation, but then I thought now it is time to push because I felt really good", said a buoyant Marquez, who defied 27 crashes during the course of the season to win the title.

"I put myself in the right position but, unfortunately, I didn't have many cards to play".

"I would like to congratulate Dovi and the Ducati team".

"I'm sorry that Andrea didn't finish the race, as he deserved to do so", he said.

He also rubbished suggestions that Lorenzo had held him up. But after a few laps he started to ride in a better way and I had the same pace as him. "He had an incredible season and I would have liked to have him on the podium with me today".

Vanessa Coleman