Alex Márquez becomes 2019 Moto2 World Champion
Alex Márquez shrugged off relentless pressure from his title rivals to finish second in the Malaysian Grand Prix, a result that confirms him as the 2019 Moto2 World Champion, as Xavi Vierge claims an excellent fourth.
- Alex Márquez is the 2019 Moto2 World Champion thanks to a faultless performance at the Malaysian Grand Prix where he finished second after a race-long battle with title rivals Brad Binder and Thomas Luthi.
- The result means Márquez is now an insurmountable 28 points ahead of Brad Binder with just one race to play. It is the 23-year old’s second World Championship success, after he won the Moto3 title in 2014.
- Márquez is the third rider to win the Moto2 World Championship for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, after Tito Rabat’s success in 2014 and Franco Morbidelli’s in 2017. Incidentally all three riders celebrated their championship win in Malaysia.
- In a great day for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, Xavi Vierge secured fourth place in the 18-lap race, his best result of 2019.
Alex Márquez, 2nd, + 0.758 s
- After slotting into second place behind Brad Binder at turn one, the 23-year old immediately began applying pressure to the South African, breaking the official Moto2 lap record of the Sepang International Circuit on lap two (2’05.860).
- Márquez enjoyed a four-lap spell in the lead after Binder made a mistake at turn twelve. But by lap eight, his rival had re-taken the lead at the first turn.
- From there, Márquez maintained his calm and resisted a late charge from Thomas Luthi in the closing laps to finish second, 0.7s behind Binder and 1.9s ahead of the Swiss rider. He celebrated the 2019 Moto2 title with members of his team and older brother Marc on the slowdown lap.
“I feel like I’m living a dream”
“I’m so, so happy and so thankful to the team. They did an amazing job and gave me the confidence throughout the season and especially this weekend. We came here after some hard races where I was struggling a lot. Today was a really tough race but we managed it in the best way. From lap one the front tyre was difficult to control. The grip was low but I managed the pressure from Luthi behind in the best way. He was pushing quite a lot. But we did a great race. I feel like I’m living a dream and I just want to enjoy this moment with the team.
Xavi Vierge, 4th, +6.646 s.
- Maintaining his qualifying position of fourth at turn one, Vierge quickly found his rhythm as he contested third place with Tetsuta Nagashima and Luthi.
- Vierge dropped behind Luthi to fifth on lap four then spent the majority of the race dicing with Nagashima. He passed the Japanese rider for fourth on lap 15 and took the chequered flag 6.6 seconds behind the race winner.
- An excellent fourth place is Vierge’s third top-6 finish of 2019 and his best result in the Moto2 class since last year’s Australian Grand Prix.
“Fourth place and finishing close to the podium wasn’t bad”
“I’m really happy. Not only for the race, but our performance all weekend. In Australia we found a good base setting. We made a mistake in the race but we found the way. Here from the beginning we started in the same way and I felt really good. Working with the same bike all weekend I could improve my riding style. Finally I had the rhythm and in the race I tried my best. Fourth place and finishing close to the podium wasn’t bad. However today the most important thing is to congratulate all the team, especially my team-mate Alex Márquez. He’s had an amazing season and today he achieved his goal. Congrats!”
Joan Olive, Team Manager:
“He deserves this title more than anyone this year”
“I’m really happy about today. I can’t imagine a better end for the race and the championship. The first thing is to congratulate Alex for the amazing race he did. It was a really tough race, with Binder and Luthi close to him. He had to be really concentrated but he showed why he is the World Champion. He deserves this title more than anyone this year and today he showed why. Xavi did his best weekend of the year. He achieved this fourth place and I’m really happy for him after a difficult year and a tough run of races. Now we’ll focus on the last race at Valencia to enjoy it, to enjoy this championship and this moment.”