MotoGP – Márquez brothers makes history!
Commentators are beginning to run out of superlatives for 21 year old Repsol Honda superstar Marc Márquez, as the young Spaniard rewrote the MotoGP record books once again in 2014. Smashing Mick Doohan’s record of 12 wins in a season, Márquez dominated throughout the year – wrapping up his second blue-riband class title with three rounds remaining, before taking a record breaking thirteenth victory of the year at Valencia...
Keeping the young sensation on his toes though was the resurgent old guard of fan favourite Valentino Rossi. After struggling on his return to Yamaha last season and sacking his long term crew chief Jerry Burgess, many critics had written the nine-time World Champion off. However, a change in riding style reinvigorated the Italian legend as he enjoyed eleven podiums and two victories on his way to second overall in the Championship.
The new ‘Open’ class, that replaced the CRT machines, saw Yamaha take the initiative as Aleix Espargaro and the Forward Racing team dominated the class against the underpowered production Hondas.
In the lower capacity Moto2 class, it has been a similar story of domination as the Mark VDS duo of Esteve Rabat and Mika Kallio finished first and second in this highly competitive field. Finishing in third place was class rookie Maverick Viñales, who will now step up into the premier class for 2015 with the returning official Suzuki team.
In the fairing-bashing Moto3 class, the youngest Márquez brother, Alex, clinched the title at the final round of the year, taking his first world title. The Championship victory marked the first time in Grand Prix history that two brothers have won world titles in the same year.
Almost the entire MotoGP paddock 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 – Super Sylvain
A nail-biting final Qatar race saw French rider Sylvain Guintoli and Aprilia clinch the 2014 World Superbike Championship crown in dramatic style. Despite team orders coming into play in the final two rounds, it was the most consistent man who claimed the title – with Guintoli being the only rider to finish every race in the points.
Pata Honda superstar Michael Van Der Mark dominated the World Supersport series, taking an incredible six victories from eleven starts. He will now step up into the blue-riband class with the team, partnering Guintoli.
The Dunlop legend continues...
It was an incredible Road Racing season for Öhlins as BMW new boy Michael Dunlop dominated the iconic Isle of Man TT races, taking four wins to further add to his victory at the North West 200 event. Michael now has 11 wins at the legendary TT event, whilst his uncle Joey remains the benchmark with 26.
The often unforgiving World of Endurance took in the historic 24 hour events of the Bol D’Or and Le Mans, the incredible Japanese jewel of the Suzuka 8 Hour and the German round; Oschersleben 8HR. The Yamaha GMT 94 were crowned Endurance World Champions on their Öhlins equipped YZF-R1. Team riders included David Checa (ESP), Kenny Foray (FRA), Mathieu Gines (FRA) and Lucas Mahias (FRA).
Once again, Öhlins have enjoyed a successful racing season across the world’s leading domestic two wheel championships.
In America, the Öhlins took a 1-2-3 with the Monster Energy Yamaha team proving to be the ones to beat once again as Josh Hayes wrapped up the 2014 AMA Superbike title, ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki star Roger Hayden and Monster Energy Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier in third.
The German IDM series saw total domination from the newly formed 3C Racing Ducati team as Xavi took the title ahead of took the title ahead of teammate and former World Superbike star Max Neukirchner. It was a similar story in the Italian CIV series as the Barni Racing Ducati of Ivan Goi secured the title while team mate Leandro Mercado won the FIM European Superstock 1000 Championship.
In French Superbike it was another full podium sweep in both Superbike and Supersport classes: Superbike: 1/ LEBLANC Gregory 2/ GIMBERT Sebastien 3/ MASSON Etienne Supersport 1/ MAHIAS Lucas 2 / BULLE Louis 3/ CAMUS Robin.
Off Road Action
Its been another busy year on the MX scene as Bike It Cosworth Yamaha battled in the World MX2 series as young Max Anstie took his first ever World Championship victory at the Belgian GP of Lommel. Interestingly the team go green as they switch to Kawasaki power for 2015 but of course the suspension remains yellow and gold!
The impressive Bud Racing outfit supported Meghan Rutledge as she finished runner-up in the FIM Womens Motocross World Championship. Other notable successes included podiums at the Genova SX with Christophe Pourcel and victory in the Zuidenbrock SX (Valentin Teillet).
In North America we continue to work with Team MotoConcept. Mike Alessi finished runner up in the Canadian championship, with his team exciting many fans ‘north of the border’ as its known. Alessi also visited the Öhlins factory when he came over to compete in the 24MX Supercross in Stockholm.
In the Supermoto World Championship, Thomas Chareyre secured his third S1 world title in 2014 on his TM Supermoto machine.