Marc Marquez becomes youngest ever Moto GP world champion

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Marc Marquez has become the youngest world champion in the history of Moto GP after clinching the title at his first attempt in the final round of the 2013 season in Spain today.

Marquez only made his debut in the premier class of motorcycle racing at the beginning of the season after winning support class, Moto 2, last year. Despite being just twenty years old, the Spaniard was taken on by the factory Honda team for 2013 alongside compatriot Dani Pedrosa.

Marquez immediately proved his worth though, winning just his second Moto GP race at the Grand Prix of the Americas held in Austin, Texas, back in April. The Spaniard also won the other two races held in the United States at Laguna Seca and Indianapolis which comprised part of a four-race win streak that put him in control of the championship.

With three rounds to go, Marquez was in a position to seal the championship but a mix-up in the pits meant that he was disqualified, allowing championship rival Jorge Lorenzo to inflict maximum damage on the Honda rider. Lorenzo won again at the penultimate round in Japan to take the championship to the final race in Spain, and despite the Yamaha rider claiming a third consecutive win in Valencia, Marquez finished third to clinch the title by just four points.

Marquez becomes the first rookie champion in Moto GP since Kenny Roberts back in 1978. At the age of just twenty, he also becomes the youngest ever 500cc world champion. Marquez became the youngest ever winner of a premier class race at the Circuit of the Americas earlier this season as well as becoming the youngest pole-sitter at that race.

As the riders and teams look ahead to 2014, all eyes will be on Marquez to see if he can repeat this incredible form and begin to create a legacy in Moto GP despite his relative infancy.

Toro Rosso at crossroads after Kvyat’s point, Hartley’s strong debut

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In a weekend with something to prove at Circuit of The Americas, Daniil Kvyat rose to the occasion with what he called “his best race of the season for sure” at the United States Grand Prix.

But it may not be enough for the Russian to have saved his seat at Scuderia Toro Rosso for the three final races this year.

Meanwhile, New Zealander Brendon Hartley capped off his roller-coaster debut weekend in Formula 1 with a solid 13th place finish after starting from the rear of the grid, learning as the race went on and bringing home his Toro Rosso chassis to the flag.

Toro Rosso faces a dilemma of three drivers available but only two seats to fill for the final three Grands Prix, with the Mexican Grand Prix coming up just next week.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly will be back after missing Austin due to his Super Formula commitments at Suzuka in Japan, but ultimately that went for naught as the races were canceled due to a typhoon.

Kvyat qualified 12th, was promoted to 11th by way of grid penalties and ended 10th, scoring a point for only the third race this year and first time since coming ninth in the Spanish Grand Prix back in May.

It was a weekend where he would have been expected to outdo Hartley, and did so, but not by a massive margin. And he was already coming in with a track time disadvantage, losing out in FP1 as Indonesian Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael ran in his chassis.

As it was, he rated his weekend performance highly and didn’t do his chances of staying in the car any harm.

Speaking to NBCSN after the race, Kvyat said, “Yeah, it was a perfect race. I did everything well. Brought the points home. It was close with (Felipe) Massa.

“We had some energy release issues on the engine. But it was a massive weekend. It was great. I really enjoyed myself. It was a good job by the team to keep it together with very limited running.

Hartley built up confidence throughout the weekend as he learned the car, the Pirelli tires and how an F1 race races versus an endurance race that he’d been used to doing for several years.

Having coming into the weekend with no expectations and just taking the race session-by-session, he felt good at the end of it.

“There’s so many little things to reflect on,” he told NBCSN. “I’ll put the eyes at rest and process it all. I did the standing start and it wasn’t the best… it’s been a long time.

“But yeah, (you’re learning) in terms of following in traffic, what 20 laps on these tires means, how much you can push it. I’m pretty satisfied. The pace was pretty strong. I made the mistake of getting passed by (Lance) Stroll. I couldn’t pass him back. Lots of challenges. I hope I can get another shot at it.

“Up until this moment… I didn’t want to know. I just wanted to do the job. I’m really relaxed. Now there might be some conversations.”

Toro Rosso figures to reveal its Mexican Grand Prix driver lineup early this week.