Spanish rider Marc Marquez won his third straight MotoGP world championship with a nail-biting victory in Japan on Sunday – but his celebrations didn’t exactly go to plan.
The Spanish sensation has now won five championships in motorcycling’s premier class, putting him level with Australian legend Mick Doohan.
But the 25-year-old suffered a bizarre shoulder injury when his overenthusiastic Honda team took celebratory hugs too far.
“The shoulder just popped out,” Marquez said.
“Luckily with the adrenalin it doesn’t hurt, but I’ll need to be careful not to overdo it on the dancefloor tonight.
Despite the dislocated shoulder, Marquez picked himself up to lift the trophy at the Japanese Grand Prix – saying he feels “really, really good”.
“I already imagined that it will be (decided) here but the important thing is that when you have the first chance, you do it.
“It wasn’t the best circuit to do it but I worked hard all weekend,” added Marquez.
“I was able to follow Andrea and decided to attack before the last lap. I was pushing really hard, so he made a mistake – I’m disappointed because he deserves to be on the podium with us.”
Marquez started from sixth on the grid at Motegi but quickly knifed through the field and was third by the end of the first lap.
He flirted with disaster on lap 14, however, after overtaking Dovizioso at turn nine before running wide at the next corner and spitting up dirt and dust as he battled to control a violent wobble.
That heart-in-mouth moment allowed Dovizioso to retake the lead, but Marquez continued to swarm all over the Italian, finally slashing past him with a daredevil move on lap 21 of 24.
Dovizioso, who needed to complete a pole to flag victory to keep alive his fading championship hopes, crashed out on the penultimate lap in a desperate last push, ending this year’s title race.