There’s a lot of running away with championships going on this year, but not all of it is as clear cut as the results suggest. Here are six degrees of motorsport domination so far in 2014.
6. KTM – Moto3
It’s a remarkable record: a KTM-engined bike has won every Moto3 race since July 2012, and a KTM chassis every race since September 2012.
Though 2013 was a year of utter domination for KTM, 2014 hasn’t been the whitewash – six wins from six – that it looks like. Were it not for some cracking rides from Jack Miller and Romano Fenati – topping the points table as it stands – Honda would by now have secured a win or two at the hands of Alex Rins (third on points), Efren Vazquez or Alex Marquez.
The Honda is now a match for the KTM, and Miguel Oliveira on the Mahindra can’t be entirely discounted as an outside bet. It’s only a matter of time until KTM’s winning streak comes to an end.
5. Shane Byrne – British Superbikes
Shane Byrne has won three of the first four races in British Superbikes this year, and came second in the other. It’s a storming start, giving him a 30 point championship lead on 95 points.
But with those four races at only two meetings, there’s an awful lot of the season to come. There are consistent riders behind him too: Josh Brookes has a win and two second places, a retirement costing him dearly in the points standings; James Ellison has finished third in every race.
It’s too early to say that Byrne will dominate, then, but it’s clear where the sensible money is.
Domination: to be established
4. Mercedes – Formula 1
The Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid hasn’t finished a race outside the top two so far in 2014. Until last weekend, it seemed completely believable that it could win every race.
Reliability at the Canadian Grand Prix put paid to that though, and Daniel Ricciardo took the first non-Mercedes win of the season for Red Bull.
But there’s no sign that the other teams are in danger of catching – let alone overtaking – Mercedes on performance. So with 258 points and a 119 point lead in the constructors championship, and a similar advantage in the drivers table, it’s going to take a lot more unreliability for anyone other than Mercedes to have a look in when the big prizes are handed out at the end of the year.
Domination: probably in tact
3. Citroen – WTCC
Citroen have definitely ‘done a Volkswagen': entered a world championship, thrown time and money at the project, and blown the competition – with little or waning manufacturer support – away.
They were never going to win every race of the season, with a reverse grid for the second race of each meeting, and the penalties for success that are usual for touring car racing. But even before the season started, it was virtually a foregone conclusion that one of the Citroen drivers would come out world champion.
And so it has worked out so far: Citroen have won 11 of the 12 races, and comfortably occupy the top three spots in the championship table. It’s not all predictable though: not many would have Jose Maria Lopez leading the standings by 41 points from Yvan Muller and Sebastien Loeb.
Domination: convincing, but not complete
2. Volkswagen – WRC
Volkswagen have won each of the first six rallies of the year, and there’s every chance that run will continue.
They also won all but three rallies in 2013, in their first year. Sebastien Loeb won two of those three, but he’s out of the way now, part of Citroen’s domination of the WTCC.
The competition are looking only intermittently threatening, with a smattering of podium finishes scattered amongst the Citroen, M-Sport and Hyundai runners. Citroen’s Mads Ostberg has been most consistent, but has less than half the points of inevitable championship leader Sebastien Ogier.
Volkswagen might not win every rally this season – reliability and bad luck always come knocking eventually in rallying – but it’s almost inconcieveable that they – and Ogier specifically – won’t be on top come the end of the season.
Domination: highly efficient
1. Marc Marquez – MotoGP
One man, though, has dominated domination so far in 2014. As if taking the MotoGP title on his first attempt in 2013 wasn’t enough, Marc Marquez has won all of the first six races of 2014, to collect a perfect 150 points. His closest rival is Valentino Rossi, on 97.
The first four races of the year were pretty straightforward for the ludicrously talented Spanish child, who has been excellently described as the Predator, in reference to the ‘aliens’ tag that has been used in recent years for the frontrunning set of MotoGP riders.
Then in France he made it hard for himself by dropping back to 10th at the start, but it didn’t take long to find his way to the front, ultimately taking victory by 1.5 seconds.
And in Italy, someone finally made it hard for Marquez. Jorge Lorenzo – hopefully a now resurgent Jorge Lorenzo – challenged him race-long in a superb battle for the win. Marquez ultimately triumphed, by just 0.121 seconds.
But he did win. Again. When will it end? No-one knows.
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