Joan Mir wins his first MotoGP world championship
Valencia, Spain: Suzuki's Joan Mir won the MotoGP world title on Sunday a week after finally securing his maiden Grand Prix triumph at the same Valencia circuit. The 23-year-old from Mallorca inherited the crown left vacant by the injured six-time champion Marc Marquez when finishing seventh in the Valencia Grand Prix won by Italy's Franco Morbidelli. The champion celebrated by pulling wheelies and screeching his smoking tyres in front of the paddock where his family awaited him to celebrate. "I've been fighting for this all my life, I can neither laugh nor cry but I'm flooded with emotions," said Mir. This was the first MotoGP title won by a Suzuki rider since 2000. After a season of solid consistency, Mir held a 37-point lead meaning he only needed to finish on the podium in the penultimate race to secure the title, while fourth would have been enough if neither Alex Rins nor Fabio Quartararo won. Frenchman Quartararo ruined any chance he had of prolonging the title race with a fall that put him out of the race. The 21-year-old had often looked the most likely inheritor to Marquez. But the Yamaha-SRT rider championship was already in a serious wobble when he hit the deck on the first lap of last weekend's race and his luck did not improve on Sunday. Morbidelli won the penultimate race of the season, leading from pole until the very last lap when he came under intense pressure from Australian Jack Miller. "I just came up short," said the Australian. "There was quite a bit of tailwind that just stopped me getting the win but we're happy to back on the box (podium) though." - AFP