Marquez 1st rookie to win MotoGP title in 35 years
VALENCIA, Spain -- Marc Marquez became the first rookie in 35 years to win the MotoGP championship after protecting his points lead at Sunday's Valencia Grand Prix.
The 20-year-old Marquez finished third on his Honda behind race winner and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo, which was enough to clinch the championship. Marquez held a 13-point lead over Lorenzo entering the 18th and final event of the season and only needed a top-four finish to secure the title.
Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa was second after an entertaining joust with Lorenzo through the opening laps.
The last rookie to win the title was American Kenny Roberts in 1978.
Marquez won the 125cc title in 2010 and the Moto2 title last year before joining the top-tier circuit.
This was the third time Lorenzo finished runner-up.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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