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.
Portimao: Round 8, Race 2
Finishing Order: Rea, Guintoli, Davies
Wet conditions can’t stop Rea from another win but the slip sliding behind made it a solid gold classic.
With Rea out in front and out of trouble in the wet conditions at Portimao he was a worthy race winner but it was the action going on behind that made it special.
Guintoli and Davies were giving no early quarter behind Rea, in a race where passes were made as much in hope as expectation.
Such was the case of Guintoli on his own team-mate Melandri. With each Aprilia rider moving forward at a pace strong enough to catch and pass Rea, Guintoli tried to pass inside at the infamous turn five hairpin. Melandri moved over and down they both went.
Melandri was out but Guintoli, dropped down to eighth, got back on his footpeg free horse and rode back up to seventh. Gaining that place means he passed championship rival Tom Sykes twice in the same race…
Sykes was once more hindered by wet conditions so it was torture for him to be eighth, but Giugliano and British rider Davies scored podium finishes for Ducati, with Lowes just a second or so from yet another podium in his rookie year.
It was messy at times but what a spectacle in the rain.