Features 20 Dec 2014

Cycle Awards 2014

CycleOnline.com.au's second annual Australian awards feature.

Back again for a second consecutive year are the CycleOnline.com.au Cycle Awards, where we name the stars of the season past in a reflection of Australian and international racing. CycleOnline.com.au’s Cycle Awards are done purely for entertainment purposes, pieced together via what we witnessed during the year both within Australia and abroad.

Image: Keith Muir.

Image: Keith Muir.

National Rider of the Year – Wayne Maxwell

After winning the ASBK title last year with Suzuki, Maxwell’s return to Honda resulted in two more championships – the Australasian Superbike Championship and Australian FX-Superbike Championship. Now he’s moved onto Yamaha, time will tell if he can make it a ‘three-peat’ on three different brands!

International Rider of the Year – Marc Marquez

With more records to his name, you can’t look past the utter dominance of Marquez against world motorcycling’s elite.

Rookie of the Year – Mike Jones

As a privateer Kawasaki rider in the ASC, Jones went form strength to strength and ended up winning races by the end of the season. This is just the beginning of things to come for the talented Queenslander.

Race Series of the Year – Moto3 World Championship

The rise of Aussie hard-charger Jack Miller at Red Bull KTM Ajo resulted in one of the most entertaining years of racing we can recall. Although he fell short of the title, Australia was right there with Miller every step of the way.

Source: Ajo Motorsport.

Source: Ajo Motorsport.

Most Anticipated Model – 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1

Whether it’s the standard model or the up-spec M edition, we’re pumped to get our hands on Yamaha’s brand new superbike contender. Developed for the race track with first class technology, the R1 is back in a big way.

Hottest Topic – Miller’s MotoGP move

The whole “will he, won’t he?” storyline that surrounded Jack’s jump from Moto3 to MotoGP was massive during the season, ultimately confirmed to be a three-year deal direct with HRC. And so far, he’s adapted in very promising fashion on board the RC213V-RS.

Top Team – Team Honda Racing

With Wayne Maxwell delivering titles in both the ASC and AFX-SBK series, Honda had a stellar year locally this season. Add in the fact that the team went unbeaten overall and claimed positions 1-2-3-5 in the Swann Series and it was a landmark year for Team Honda Racing.

Best Event – Wakefield Park ASC opener

It wasn’t the biggest event of the year, but the buzz surrounding Wakefield Park’s Australasian Superbike Championship opener was something to remember. With a reinvigorated national series attracting all the top racers, it set the tone for a tight year of on-track action locally.

Image: Keith Muir.

Image: Keith Muir.

Greatest Disappointment – ASBK’s collapse

It’s old news now and the series has been completely revamped for 2015, however this year’s ASBK series being reduced to just two rounds after the mid-season split with former promoter International Entertainment Group just wasn’t good enough.

Most Surprising Moment – Curtain’s retirement…

The ASC opener was a tough one for FX King Kevin Curtain, but few could have predicted he’d hang up his helmet before round two. And then, much to our surprise, he made a comeback with the Trinder Aprilia team at the season finale! Will we see him back again in 2015?

Social Standout – Wayne Maxwell

Already awarded rider of the year, Maxwell’s control of all social media and his top-shelf website set the benchmark this season – both handy for his fans to follow his progress as it happens and valuable for his sponsors when it comes to promotion. It’s good for the sport.

Special Mention – Valentino Rossi’s resurgence

The Doctor was particularly strong in 2014, putting it to Marquez at times and eventually finishing runner-up in the world title race as first of the Yamahas. It was great to see Rossi back to his fighting best.