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Márquez seals third MotoGP title

The Spaniard took an unassailable championship lead with victory in Japan as Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo crashed out

Japanese Grand Prix winner Repsol Honda Team's Spanish rider Marc Marquez celebrates his fifth world champion title on the podium after the MotoGP race at the Japanese Grand Prix in the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Motegi on October 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA

Marc Márquez clinched his third MotoGP championship on Sunday by winning the Japanese Grand Prix after rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo both crashed out.

Márquez celebrates on the podium after his victory.
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Márquez celebrates on the podium after his victory.TOSHIFUMI KITAMURAAFP

Youngest ever three-time champion

The 23-year-old Honda man's victory at Motegi gave him an unassailable 77-point advantage over Italian Rossi, who started on pole but slid into the gravel early.

Already the youngest rider to win a MotoGP race and the title in his maiden season in 2013, the Spaniard's triumph in Japan made him the youngest to claim three championships.

Márquez finished nearly three seconds ahead of Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, with Suzuki's Maverick Vinales third.

Lorenzo follows Rossi in crashing out

With Rossi, a seven-time premier class champion, quickly out of contention, Spain's Lorenzo needed to finish fourth or better to keep his title defence alive.

Lorenzo, who suffered a terrifying crash in practice on Saturday but returned to the track to qualify third on the grid, battled to keep within touch of Márquez.

But he came under pressure from a hard-charging Dovizioso and his race ended in the gravel with five laps to go after a front end skid.

The championship, now a victory procession for Márquez, heads to Phillip Island, Australia next week.