Five different riders on four different makes of machinery won WSB races in 2014 which made the job of picking the top five of the year far from easy - and entirely opinion-based. But here’s MCN’s pick of the pops best from the 24 contests that made up the 2014 season.
Phillip island: Round 1, Race 1
Finishing Order: Laverty, Melandri, Guintoli
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki first WSB win, Laverty confirmed as part-time miracle-worker.
As was said at the time, nobody who witnessed Eugene Laverty’s push through the field from outside the top ten on lap one would ever forget it.
Way down on lap one, and outgunned at this fast circuit by almost every other rider of a quicker factory bike, Laverty re-wrote some preconceptions about the ‘old’ Suzuki at a stroke. A stroke of genius.
There were tears welling up in the eyes of Crescent team principal Paul Denning as he walked back to this garage with a big shiny cup in his left hand, presumably because so many people had been shaking his right hand too hard.
Laverty delivered the perfect riposte to Aprilia who had dropped him in the close season, with Melandri and Guintoli the two last riders he managed to overhaul, winning by almost three seconds after the full 22-laps.
It was a morale-boosting fairytale start for the BSB-bred Irish rider and the only British team in WSB, all of whom battled the odds and dyno figures valiantly all year.