Marc Marquez claims his 7th (5th in MotoGP, equalling Mick Doohan) world title in Motegi, with Andrea Dovizioso's hopes to keep the fight alive fading in the penultimate lap. Cal Crutchlow and Alex Rins end up on the podium.
Marquez jumped to 3rd at the start and overtook Miller in less than half a lap, moving up to 2nd behind race leader Andrea Dovizioso. Valentino Rossi started off on the right foot, being engaged in the battle for 5th against Rins in front of him and Johann Zarco.
Cal Crutchlow in the opening stages of the race showed off a very competitive pace, already lapping on 1’46’’. The Briton got rid of Jack Miller in the course of the third lap, throwing the Alma Pramac rider into the jaws of a rather ravenous Rossi.
Marquez and Dovizioso did not manage to open up a gap to the others, as Crutchlow closed in on Marquez and aggressively grabbed P2 and allowed Rossi, Miller and Rins to join the fight for first, but it did not last long. In the meantime, Andrea Iannone was back in contention as he left Zarco and Miller behind after 6 laps and went up to 5th.
A couple of laps later the top 3 detached itself from the pack, with Marquez getting the position back on Crutchlow and pressuring Dovizioso. Valentino Rossi failed to hang on to fourth, as Iannone took full advantage of his struggles and bolted to fourth along with his teammate Rins. Jack Miller crashed out during the 11th lap, when he was lapping in 7th.
Marc Marquez prepared his overtake on Dovizioso and successfully completed it in the 13th lap, but lost the race lead as he ran off on the dirt. The Italian was on the verge of crashing into him, as Marquez nearly lost control of the bike, but both managed to avoid a collision.
Andrea Iannone ruled himself out of the race with 10 laps to go, handing P4 to fellow Suzuki rider Alex Rins, while Rossi and Zarco’s pace started to come alive. It was not the case with Crutchlow, who was being man marked by Rins, as Marquez charged to 1st.
Andrea Dovizioso ruinously crashed in the penultimate lap, handing Marc Marquez an early celebration to his 7th world title. The Spaniard makes history once again in Motegi, where he claimed his 5th title back in 2016.