Honda rider Marc Marquez of Spain won the MotoGP of Japan on Sunday to secure the 2016 title with three races remaining.
Marquez beat Ducati rider Andrea Dovisiozo by 2.992 seconds at Twin Ring Motegi for his fifth win of the season and his third world championship. Suzuki rider Maverick Vinales was third, 4.104 seconds back.
Pole-sitter and Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi crashed on the 15th lap. Rossi entered Sunday's race 52 points behind Marquez in the overall standings.
Marquez's championship bid got a further boost when Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo lost control of his bike with five laps to go. Lorenzo was in second place at the time and needed to finish on the podium to extend the championship battle to the next race at Phillip Island, Australia on Oct. 23.
At 23 years old, Marquez is the youngest rider to win three premier class world championship titles.
The 2016 MotoGP title is his third in four years in the premier class, and his fifth world championship after becoming 125 world champion in 2010 and Moto2 world champion in 2012.