Joan Mir wins MotoGP world championship

Valencia (Spain) (AFP) –


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.

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

Morbildelli and Miller played cat-and-mouse overtaking each other several times over the final tight corners.

Morbidelli's teammate at Yamaha's satellite SRT team, Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, ruined any chance he had of prolonging the title race with a fall to follow his crash on the opening lap at thre circuit last week.