MotoGP – Marc the Magnificent
The 2014 MotoGP season has been dominated by the 21 year old Repsol Honda sensation Marc Márquez. After stunning the world last season to become the youngest ever premier class Champion and the first rider since Kenny Roberts to win it in his rookie season, Marc has stepped up even further for this year, taking pole position and victory in the first six races!…
It has also been a resurgent start for the ever popular Valentino Rossi. After a slightly lacklustre return to his beloved Yamaha in 2013, which yielded only one victory and five podiums, 2014 has seen the Italian legend be the only man to consistently to take the battle to Márquez, having secured three podiums already. On the other side of the garage, Jorge Lorenzo has suffered an uncharacteristically slow start to year as he struggled to adapt to the new Bridgestone tyres, taking only one podium so far.
In the new 'Open' class, CRT champion Aleix Espargaro and the Forward Racing Yamaha have impressed the entire paddock with some breathtaking performances that have seen the young Spaniard take the fight to the Factory machines.
In the lower capacity Moto2 class, it has been a similar story of domination as the Marc VDS duo of Esteve Rabat and Mika Kallio have taken all but one victory so far this season to top the Championship standings by a considerable margin over third place Maverick Viñales.
Almost the entire MotoGP and Moto2 class use the iconic gold and yellow suspension of Öhlins, making the Swedish equipment the weapon of choice for the world's leading motorcycle racers.
World Superbikes – Rea of sunshine
The opening of the 2014 World Superbike series has been an enthralling affair as four different winners have taken to the podium following the opening five rounds. However, a victory in the second race at Assen followed up with a stunning double at the iconic Imola circuit saw Jonathan Rea top the Championship standings on his Pata Honda, before being overtaken by a resurgent Tom Sykes at Donington Park.
2013 British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes started the year with plenty of incidents but has now taken podiums in both the Dutch and UK rounds.
Between the Hedges...
It was a phenomenal start to the Road Racing season for Öhlins as BMW new boy Michael Dunlop and his older brother William took both Superbike victories at the North West 200. Michael backed this up with the opening Superbike victory at the iconic Isle of Man TT. He lines up alongside a star studded array of riders using the Swedish equipment at the including Guy Martin, Ian Hutchinson, Josh Brookes and Conor Cummins…
Once again, Öhlins have enjoyed a successful start to the racing season across the world's leading domestic two wheel championships.
In the British Superbike Championship, Australian Josh Brookes has switched to Yamaha power and joined the Milwaukee team to fill the James Ellison vacated seat as he bids to secure that elusive crown which has evaded him. The most recent round at Oulton Park saw Brookes take the win and a new lap record. Ellison moved to the GBmoto Kawasaki team who have also signed veteran racer Chris Walker, with the duo both enjoying podium success already.
Over in America, the Öhlins shod Monster Energy Yamaha team are once again looking the dominant force as Cameron Beaubier tops the AMA Superbike standings, however snapping at his heels is Roger Hayden, brother of MotoGP star Nicky, on the Yoshimura Suzuki. Triumph won the 73rd running of the Daytona 200 with Danny Eslick, giving the British brand its first win in the event since Gary Nixon, 47 years ago.
In the German IDM series, new team 3C-Racing have set about proving the qualities of the Ducati 1199 Panigale R as their riders Xavi Forés and Max Neukirchner took a stunning 1-2 double in the opening race at Lausitz.
In the French SBK series, Kawasaki SRC Rider Gregory Leblanc has taken three out of four race wins so far at Le Mans and Nogaro. For a nation passionate about 'Endurance' maybe an even more important achievement is the team's third consecutive Bol d'Or victory with the 24-Hour race being won by Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Nicolas Salchaud.
Matteo Baiocco has taken the early lead in the Italian CIV series, predictably enough on a fire engine red Ducati Panigale, entered by the Grandi Corse squad.