Moto3: Marquez v Miller - round-by-round looks back on the 2014 Moto3 season to see where one of the most hotly contested junior class titles was won.
Moto3: Marquez v Miller - round-by-round

The 2014 Moto3 World Championship certainly had everything - Including a dramatic final race shootout, two challengers who weren't afraid to joust on and off track, protests and penalties plus a constructor's championship decided on count-back, after KTM and Honda tied on points.

A year in which the winning margin was less than 0.4 seconds at 88 percent of the races, Moto3 could regularly be relied upon for sustained excitement. To show as much the average winning margin throughout the year was 0.45s - a number skewed by Marquez's two runaway wins in Barcelona and Assen.

Take those two races away and the average stands at 0.119s.

Indeed the average podium was covered by 0.87s. The top six were separated by less than two seconds on nine occasions. And at Brno we witnessed a 16-rider fight for the lead.

After such a year of memorable racing, looks back on the 2014 season to see where one of the most hotly contested junior class titles was won.

Round 1 - Qatar - March 23rd
Miller arrives in Qatar as the clear championship favourite courtesy of his fastest times at both preseason tests at Jerez. In contrast Marquez and team-mate Alex Rins have been struggling to get up to speed with their new factory-spec Honda NSF250RWs. The Hondas show impressive straight-line speed and set a marker with Rins pipping Marquez for a qualifying one-two. In the race Miller and Marquez escape from a chasing pack of four by mid-distance but slowly get reeled in. Marquez looks to have his maiden win of '14 sewn up before a last lap mistake allows Miller through. The Spaniard recovers second having slipped to fourth on the final lap.Championship leader: Miller - 25 points, Marquez (second) - 20 points - deficit: 5 points

Round 2 - Circuit of the Americas, USA - April 13th
Miller grabs his first career pole before breaking clear in the race with Romano Fenati, Efren Vazquez and Marquez close behind. Marquez makes a second consecutive mistake on the final lap, crashing out at turn 19 while attempting to outmaneuver Vazquez. Miller holds off a hard-charging Fenati to become the first Australian to win back-to-back races in the smaller class. Championship leader: Miller - 50 points, Marquez (sixth) - 20 points - deficit: 30 points

Round 3 - Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina - April 27th
Another four-way scrap at the front comes to a dramatic conclusion when Fenati leaves his braking to the last possible moment at the final hairpin to take his first win since 2012. His move barges both Miller - who was leading as the Italian made his play - and Marquez wide. Marquez also passes Miller who, in turn, narrowly holds off Livio Loi for a third straight podium. The Australian's afternoon gets worse when Niklas Ajo crashes into his rear on the slow-down lap. Miller is incensed with Fenati's move after the race, claiming he was "robbed" of victory. Fenati is given one penalty point for the incident but the result stands.Championship leader: Miller - 66 points, Marquez (fourth) - 40 points - deficit: 26 points

Round 4 - Jerez, Spain - May 5th
Fenati produces an inspired ride to the front having qualified tenth the previous day. The Italian holds Rins at bay at the final corner as Vazquez streams past to claim second on the run to the line. Miller could finish no higher than fourth after suffering some engine issues throughout the race and was unimpressed with the close combat racing, pointing his finger in the direction of Fenati and Isaac Vi?ales. Marquez is strangely subdued, coming home seventh after suffering from an "external problem", three seconds behind the winner.Championship leader: Miller - 79 points, Marquez (fifth) - 49 points - deficit: 30 points

Round 5 - Le Mans, France - May 18th
Arguably the first of the season's true classic encounters sees Miller display all of his tenacity to deny an incandescent Vazquez his debut GP win. Ten riders contest the podium places on the final lap and it takes a gutsy Miller move around Vazquez's outside on the entry to Garage Bleu to seal his third win in five races. Vazquez makes his feeling known to the Australian on the slow-down lap after getting bumped to sixth. Marquez and Rins test at Aragon prior to Le Mans, fine-tuning their Hondas. Starting the final lap in seventh, Marquez picks off Vazquez and Enea Bastianini at the final double right to salvage fifth.Championship leader: Miller - 104 points, Marquez (fifth) - 60 points - deficit: 44 points

Round 6 - Mugello, Italy - June 1st
The first time we see a chink in the championship leader's armour. In the midst of another classic ten-rider scrap for the lead, Miller gets cut off into the downhill Scarperia on the last lap, forcing him to sit up and take himself, Enea Bastianini and Marquez into the gravel. Miller is handed two penalty points for his move. Fenati wins again in the closest ever GP podium - just 0.010s separates the Italian, Vi?ales and Rins at the flag - to slash Miller's championship lead to five points.Championship leader: Miller - 104 points, Marquez (sixth) - 60 points - deficit: 44 points

Round 7 - Montmelo, Catalunya - June 15th
Off the back of his first pole position in GPs Marquez produces the most dominant performance of the year to coast home a full three seconds clear of impressive rookie Bastianini - the biggest winning margin of 2014. Having shown some propensity for weaknesses in final lap shootouts, Marquez hauls himself back into the title fight with his most impressive ride in Moto3 to date, days after another successful test in Mugello. The win is Honda's first in the class since July, 2012. Miller limits any further damage with a hard-fought fourth place after starting ninth - his first time off the front row all year -, stealing by Fenati on the final circulation.Championship leader: Miller - 117 points, Marquez (fifth) - 85 points - deficit: 32 points

Round 8 - Assen, Holland - June 28th
Miller takes a sensational pole position but knows he has to get away early on to stem the Honda driven tide. He hits "a small bump" at turn one and falls on lap two while gapping Marquez in second. Fenati runs on at the chicane on the first lap, rejoins in 30th and then sears through the field before crashing out again - in some ways a snapshot of his season. Marquez holds a commanding lead but a small mistake allows Rins back into play at mid-distance. In the end the 18-year old's pace is too much and he takes his first back-to-back victories in grand prix.Championship leader: Miller - 117 points, Marquez (third) - 110 points - deficit: 7 points

Round 9 - Sachsenring, Germany - July 13th
Miller makes up for his previous misdemeanor with a hard-fought victory in a race which saw Brad Binder mark himself out as a genuine podium contender. Eric Granado punts Alex Rins off at the second corner and Fenati's self-destruction continues apace with an early spill. A group of four, including Marquez battle Miller for the lead before the Australian ups his tempo in the closing laps. Marquez misses a pre-holiday podium finish by a tenth of a second. The fact Miller tops every session bar Sunday's morning warm up and finishes 26 seconds ahead of the next KTM underlines his credentials at the season's half way point.Championship position: Miller - 142 points, Marquez (second) - 123 points - deficit: 19 points

Round 10 - Indianapolis, USA - August 10th
Another almighty last lap shuffle. Vazquez finally makes the extra speed of his Honda count by drafting by Fenati for his first GP win after 116 attempts. Ten riders contest the lead and the KTMs of Fenati and Miller are clearly at a disadvantage along the sizable main straight. The Australian is delighted with a podium finish, having barged Marquez wide at turn two on the final lap to claim third, pushing his title rival back to sixth. Vazquez's win promotes him to second overall.Championship position: Miller - 158 points, Marquez (third) - 133 points - deficit: 25 points

Round 11 - Brno, Czech Republic - August 17th
Quite possibly the highlight of a season of ludicrously close racing. 16 - sixteen!! - riders contest the podium places on the final lap. Rins thinks he is victorious, sitting up and celebrating a lap early, before an almighty sort-out at the final chicane sees Alexis Masbou take his first grand prix win. Miller looks to have timed his final push to perfection, leading up 'Horsepower Hill', until Masbou dives under at the final chicane. As he jostles to get the perfect line through the final corner Bastianini, Kent and Marquez all come through. Rins salvages ninth having initially dropped to 14th after his costly error. Juanfran Guevara in 16th finishes 1.9 seconds behind the winner.Championship leader: Miller - 169 points, Marquez (second) - 146 points - deficit: 23 points

Round 12 - Silverstone, Great Britain - August 31st
Another last lap sort out demonstrates why Silverstone's flowing, open layout is perfect for two-wheeled racing. Pole man Rins makes amends for his Czech misdemeanor by taking his first win of the year after a sensational four-way fight for the lead. He out-brakes Marquez and Bastianini at Brooklands on the final lap to lead Marquez over the line by 0.011s. Miller loses touch with the leading group, suffering over the track's bumps to finish sixth. Fenati puts in another rancid qualifying performance and his sedate race all-but ends his championship challenge.Championship leader: Miller - 179 points, Marquez (second) - 166 points - deficit: 13 points

Round 13 - San Marino, Italy - September 14th
A race that suggests Rins may have timed his championship charge to perfection. Under the relentless Italian sun he shows a glimpse of the race craft that brought him six victories in 2013 by out-witting his team-mate on the last lap - again. Miller returns to run the 2014 spec KTM chassis for this race and immediately feels comfortable, although he has no answer for the Estrella Galicia Hondas, coming home 3.4 seconds behind in third. A damage limitation ride sees his championship lead cut to nine points. Championship leader: Miller - 195 points, Marquez (second) - 186 points - deficit: 9 points

Round 14 - Aragon, Spain - September 28th
One of the season's big talking points and arguably when the pendulum swings in Marquez's direction. Overnight rain and morning fog delay the start by 20 minutes and the track is still wet as the lights go out. Marquez and Miller fight at the front until lap five. With a dry line appearing both riders enter the fast, uphill final corner with Miller on the outside. As he aims for a late apex he suddenly finds Marquez on his line. Forced into taking avoiding action he falls at high speed, all-but ruling him out of the race. Fenati finds some much needed form to take a narrow victory with Marquez second. Crucially though, the Spaniard now leads the championship. Rins' mid-season surge is blunted with a fifth place. He'll struggle to muster up that autumnal momentum that brought him back into the title fight.Championship leader: Marquez - 206 points, Miller (second) - 195 - deficit: 11 points

Round 15 - Motegi, Japan - October 12th
A round that suggests Marquez has the necessary combination of brains and good fortune of a champion in waiting. Rins is shunted wide at the first corner and can't recover to catch the opening group containing Kent, Miller, Marquez, Vazquez, Binder and McPhee. As they hurtle downhill to the treacherous turn eleven on the final lap, Kent moves under Miller but is poised to run wide. Miller in turn hits a false neutral forcing himself wide. Marquez can barely believe his luck, swooping though to win ahead of Vazquez and Binder while Miller recovers for a frustrating fifth. The Australian has the good grace to admit his mistake as soon as he takes off his lid.Championship leader: Marquez - 231 points, Miller - 206 - deficit: 25 points

Round 16 - Phillip Island, Australia - October 19th
Having slipped dangerously far behind Marquez, Miller takes to slamming his chief adversary in the media leading up to his home GP. "He came with the first blow. If that's the way we're doing it...I like to dance like that." And his actions match his words. Despite the Hondas of Marquez, Rins, Vazquez, McPhee and Masbou enjoying a clear top speed advantage along Gardner Straight Miller rides the last lap of his life, hitting the throttle and skimming the apexes at just the right points to ward off Marquez and four other Honda runners in a manic dash to the flag. In the end he gets the verdict - by 0.029s - as two tenths of a second cover the top six. Undoubtedly his finest ride to date, Miller breaths fresh life into his title tilt.Championship leader: Marquez - 251 points, Miller (second) - 231 points - deficit: 20 points

Round 17 - Sepang, Malaysia - October 26th
Marquez admits to playing it safe in the closing stages as Miller rolls up his sleeves and attempts to ruffle the feathers of his younger rival. Danny Kent rides under team orders to aide Miller despite getting taken out in the previous round yet the Red Bull KTM still finds himself swarmed by Hondas. Marquez's machine continually blasts by Miller on Sepang's start-finish straight only for the Australian to let his brakes off into turn one, pushing Marquez wide - the last of which comes on the final lap. Vazquez gets by the Australian at the final corner, demoting Miller to second. Marquez comes home a close fifth but is livid with the day's events. The Australian sticks the knife in, claiming, "Everyone knows the Marquez brothers like to touch when they race. For me I was doing it their way." Marquez responds that he wants to win the title "cleanly" in Valencia.Championship leader: Marquez - 262 points, Miller - 251 points - deficit: 11 points

Round 18 - Valencia, Spain - November 9th
The season gets the finale it deserves. Miller's combative performance in Malaysia means he needs to win and Marquez finish off the podium to become Australia's first junior class champion since Tom Phillis in 1961. He and Marquez both start from the front row and from there the Spaniard is left to fend for himself as the KTMs of Miller, Vi?ales and Antonelli gang up at the front. To complicate matters the pack is soon joined by Rins, Kent and Vazquez but Marquez remains calm and focused. Miller moves under his rival with a tough move at turn eleven but, again, Marquez maintains his focus on the job at hand. Their swapping of positions splinters the leading group, allows Vi?ales to lead and Marquez is content to sit in third. The final lap is full of tension as Miller successfully overhauls Vi?ales to win while Marquez holds off a late Danny Kent charge for his maiden world championship. Miller is distraught at the outcome, reduced to muttering over the Aragon incident in parc ferm?. Marquez, meanwhile, celebrates being part of the first sibling pairing to win GP world championships in the same year.Championship leader: Marquez - 278 points, Miller - 276 points - deficit: 2 points

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