Yamaha duo frustrated by falls after handing Marquez MotoGP title

Jorge Lorenzo blamed a strategic mistake and Valentino Rossi had no answer for his Japanese Grand Prix crash, after the Yamaha pair let Marc Marquez seal the 2016 MotoGP title

Yamaha duo frustrated by falls after handing Marquez MotoGP title

Both riders started the Motegi race on the front row of the grid, and ran in the top three early, but their crashes helped Honda's Marquez claim his third premier class championship with three races to spare.

REPORT: Marquez seals 2016 MotoGP championship at Motegi

Lorenzo grabbed the lead at the first corner with a firm move down the inside of both polesitter Rossi and Marquez, and led until he was passed by his fellow Spaniard on lap four.

With Marquez leading, Rossi crashed out three laps later, leaving Lorenzo as the only rider capable of keeping the title alive until he too fell, at Turn 9, five laps from home.

The outgoing champion was unable to match Marquez's pace and was set to be challenged for second by Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, and lamented his decision to run the medium front tyre, rather than the soft.

"I'm very disappointed, because I made a mistake," he said.

"I tried to push too much when the bike was not working well with the tyres.

"At Aragon we made a good decision with the tyres and this time it was the opposite.

"We chose the wrong front tyre, with the soft I think I would have made a better race, because my front tyre on the first laps was vibrating and closing.

"I didn't have a good feeling, that's why I couldn't keep up with the pace of Marquez.

"Finally, because Dovizioso was coming, I pushed more than before in that corner and the front tyre didn't give me any support or feedback and I crashed.

"It's a pity, because I think we had the potential to fight for the victory with the right front tyre, but it was impossible today and we lost a great opportunity to be second in the championship."

Lorenzo was set to leapfrog Rossi in their battle for second place in the championship before he fell.

Now 77 points behind Marquez and out of mathematical title contention, Rossi is 14 ahead of Lorenzo with three grands prix remaining.

Rossi's exit came at Turn 10 on the lap after he had passed Lorenzo for second place, as Marquez started to pull away.

"It's a shame because I was quite strong and I had a good pace," Rossi said.

"Unfortunately my start was not fantastic and I lost a position to Marquez and Lorenzo.

"After that, Marquez was a bit faster than me to overtake Lorenzo, I lost a bit more time behind him, but the pace was good.

"I was able to push a lot to try and catch Marquez but unfortunately I lost the front.

"Sincerely, I felt nothing like going into the corner too wide or too deep, but I lost the front and logically I made a mistake."

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