Bike Social's Top 5 MotoGP Races 2014

Author: Bike Social Posted: 20 Dec 2014

This year’s MotoGP season was a corker. Marc Marquez might have won almost 70% of the races but there was no shortage of close, intense and unpredictable battles across the season’s eighteen rounds.

In that respect, picking five of the season’s best races is no easy task but we thought we’d give it a go. Looking at the battles, the mistakes and subsequent consequences for the championship, we’ve chosen five races from the 2014 season that had us sat on the edge of our seats.

Round 1 – Qatar “It looked like an old race from ten years ago”

Qatar was an intense battle between Rossi and Marquez

1st Marc Marquez
2nd Valentino Rossi
3rd Dani Pedrosa

Valentino Rossi praised MotoGP bosses after he finished second to Marc Marquez in this year’s opening round. The pair had battled until the closing stages as their rivals, who had the pace to run at the front, crashed out.

“It’s the first time it looked like an old race from MotoGP from ten years ago, all together on the same pace, some mistakes, going wide and so on. Maybe Dorna had a great idea”, Rossi proclaimed.

After a rocket-ship start Jorge Lorenzo shot into the lead but an uncharacteristic mistake saw him fall before he could finish the first lap. This left Stefan Bradl in front for eight laps until he too crashed out.

It was tense, it was dramatic, it was everything a MotoGP race should be and gave a great preview to the season ahead.

Read the full report here.

Round 7 – Catalunya The last few corners were spectacular!”

Pedrosa lost out after making a mistake in Catalunya

1st – Marc Marquez
2nd – Valentino Rossi
3rd – Dani Pedrosa

One of the most intense battles of the season came at the Circuit de Catalunya. Marquez had missed out on a seventh consecutive pole position after his first crash of the season in qualifying but that didn’t stop him come race day.

In the early stages a four way battle between the Honda and Yamaha duos ensued, with Lorenzo dropping off in the closing stages. Rossi fought hard despite a clear speed deficit to the Hondas down the long home straight but it wasn’t quite enough.

Pedrosa looked to be the faster of the Repsol riders, but lost out spectacularly as he collided with Marquez on the final lap. This gave Rossi a final shot at victory but the Spaniard was too strong. Pedrosa finished third after the mistake.

Read the report here.

Round 12 – Silverstone “I had a score to settle from last year”

Marquez had a score to settle at Silverstone

1st – Marc Marquez
2nd – Jorge Lorenzo
3rd – Valentino Rossi

Until he lost out as a result of a duff tyre in Brno, Marquez had won every race in the 2014. This left the 21-year-old even hungrier for victory in British Grand Prix. To add to this, Lorenzo had beaten him in the final few turns at Silverstone just twelve months previous.

“It was important to win at Silverstone after missing out at Brno. I also had a score to settle from last year, when Jorge beat me on the final corner”, the Spaniard confessed.

Last year’s race was good. This year’s was better. Marquez wanted victory bad, so bad he was willing to play rough to get it. The pair barged one another out of the way on several occasions in the closing stages. It was Marquez who had the last laugh on this occasion, pushing Lorenzo wide on the exit of the arena section before taking the win by 0.7 seconds.

Further back, Andrea Dovizioso fought hard with his former Repsol Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa for fourth place on the Ducati and Scott Redding secured a heroic home top ten on the production Honda ahead of the factory Ducati of compatriot Cal Crutchlow.

Read the full report here.

Round 13 – Misano - “My first mistake of the season”

Marquez made the mistake in Misano

1st – Valentino Rossi
2nd – Jorge Lorenzo
3rd – Dani Pedrosa

After crashing out in the early stages after what he admitted was his ‘first mistake of the season’, Marc Marquez finished 15th in Misano leaving Valentino Rossi to cruise to victory.

Until this point, Marquez had won all but one race and the one he didn’t win, Brno, is thought to have been the result of a duff front tyre. He had led the way all weekend, yet when it came to the race he had no pace.

Things were the exact opposite in Misano. Marquez struggled to maintain the pace of his Yamaha rivals across the weekend after missing out on crucial set up time on Friday. When it came to the race he was close enough to challenge Rossi for victory. However the young Spaniard struggled to keep up with the Italian veteran, making mistake after mistake and eventually met his fate on the tenth lap.

“Marquez was obviously pushing beyond his own far-out limits in a desperate attempt to stay with Rossi”, explains renowned GP journalist and former racer Mat Oxley in Motorsport Magazine. “On several occasions he ran wide through the fast rights towards the end of the lap and he kept missing apexes.”

Marquez wanted to win. He wanted to win so much his riding became sloppy and as he confesses, he made his first mistake of the season. Rossi saw his opportunity to beat the youngster, pushed him hard and conquered. On that day, the Yamaha was faster or at least on par with the Honda and this demonstrated that Marquez could be beaten.

Read the full race report here

Round 14 – Aragon “I had an intuition”

Slick tyres don't work in the wet Dani!

1st – Jorge Lorenzo
2nd – Aleix Espargaro
3rd – Cal Crutchlow

There were a number of flag to flag races this season, where riders would enter the pits and change tyres following a change in conditions. The most dramatic of these, by far, was Aragon.

It was by all means a dry race with Marquez leading and Lorenzo chasing. Then it started to rain. Lorenzo, with memories of the crash in which he broke his collarbone at Assen in 2013 still haunting him, backed off and slipped into third position. Marquez hammered on.

As the rain steadily got worse, some riders entered the pits to change tyres. The first front-pack rider to come in was Jorge Lorenzo. “I had an intuition; every lap I felt the spotting was coming worse and it was very dangerous and easy to crash” said the Spaniard. “When I saw Marc and Dani keeping on racing and without going into the pits in the last corner, I said ok, I will take a risk and enter.”

Marquez and Pedrosa stayed out so long, it became too late to switch. As the rain got heavier the temperature fell rapidly meaning their slick Bridgestone tyres began to lose grip. Pedrosa fell first, then Marquez. Both remounted and were able to finish 13th and 14th respectively, while Lorenzo took his first victory of the season.

Second placed man Valentino Rossi had crashed out on wet astro-turf in the early stages.

Read the full report here.