Doha (Qatar), Sunday 2 November 2014 – Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) is the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Champion after an impressive double win on board his Aprilia RSV4 last night, under floodlights, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
Frenchman Guintoli went into the round with a 12 point deficit to defending champion, Tom Sykes of Kawasaki, and blitzed the entire field with two emphatic victories to walk away the championship crown. It was Guintoli’s first double win of his world superbike career.
The 32 year old won the first race to close the trailing gap to Sykes to just three points, going into the final showdown.
He stamped his mark on race two from the start, took the lead on lap five, and courtesy of a strong race pace and a new lap record of 1’57.906, pulled a solid gap on the chasing duo of Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Tom Sykes to streak ahead to the chequered flag and title victory.
Sykes and Rea battled race long to determine the final spots on the podium with the Honda rider just edging the outgoing champ Sykes for second in the final three laps.
It was Guintoli’s second year as an official Aprilia rider, and he took the title with five wins, 16 podium finishes and two pole position.
Consistency dominated his 2014 performance, with “Guinters” never failing to make the finish line – even in race two in Portimao, when he rejoined after colliding with teammate Marco Melandri, he managed to claim a seventh place.
“I cannot believe it. I have been imagining this double win for the whole month. I never felt so good riding with this or any other bike before. I just enjoyed it so badly. It has been such hard work all season, trying not to make many mistakes. Tom has been very fast and consistent. After Laguna, when the gap was 44 points, it was a difficult situation. But we were back and in this last round I’ve shown I’ve got the speed and what it takes to win. I proved it to myself and I’m happy. I think the title will sink in later on but for now I’m just overwhelmed.”
“I don’t mind taking my hat off to a worthy champion. We have tried so hard all year and of course, a few incidents come to my mind now. But it is what it is. After the last few rounds, we knew Sylvain and Aprilia would have been strong. Unfortunately the outcome of today was… the winner takes it all. Sylvain, he did a great season. Obviously we’ve had some limitations today. I tried my best in race two, unfortunately it wasn’t enough. But that’s racing. Luckily this race is quite late in the year so I won’t be too hard on myself for too long. The start of the next season won’t be too far away and I’ll be putting my efforts into that.”
In race two, five riders fought hard for 4th with Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) coming home ahead of Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia).
Newly crowned Superbike EVO winner David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) was once again involved in a titanic fight for the best classified EVO rider coming home ahead of Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) in 11th, Canepa was 12th. Bryan Staring (Iron Brain Grillini Kawasaki) rode well to claim the 3rd EVO placing in a credible 13th overall.
Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki), Aaron Yates (Team Hero EBR) and Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) all failed to make it to the finish line due to crashes.
Bryan Staring and Alex Cudlin represented Australia on the grid, with Staring putting in two consistent performances on his Kawasaki – 15th in race one and 13th in race two; while Taree’s Alex Cudlin (Pedercini Kawasaki) in his world superbike debut, did not start so well crashing in race one, but bettering his performance in race two to finish the 17 lapper, albeit last in 18th place.
In the final championship standings Guintoli took the title on 416 points, just six points ahead of Sykes. Honda’s Jonathan Rea was 3rd on 334 points, one point ahead of Marco Melandri 4th(Aprilia Racing Team) with Kawasaki’s Loris Baz 5th.
Final standings: 1. Guintoli 416; 2. Sykes 410; 3. Rea 334; 4. Melandri 333; 5. Baz 311; 6. Davies 215; 7. Haslam 187; 8. Giugliano 181; 9. Elias 171; 10. Laverty 161; 11. Lowes 139; 12. Salom 103; 13. Canepa 73; 14. Guarnoni 45; 15. Barrier 40; 16. Camier 37; 17. Corti 27; 18. Morais 24; 19. Andreozzi 22; 20. Foret 20; 21. Lanzi 19; 22. Staring 18; 23. Neukirchner 17; 24. Scassa 16; 25. Rizmayer 7; 26. Allerton 6; 27. Bos 5; 28. Toth 5; 29. Goi 5; 30. Russo 5; 31. Pegram 2; 32. Fabrizio 2; 33. Lanusse 1. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 468; 2. Kawasaki 431; 3. Honda 350; 4. Ducati 291; 5. Suzuki 234; 6. BMW 81; 7. MV Agusta 34; 8. EBR 2.
Race one…Guintoli wins race one to pile the pressure on Sykes….The penultimate race of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship, the first ever to be held under floodlights has been won by Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) who pulled away in the final four laps to cross the line a lonely winner ahead of compatriot Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), in what was one of the most enthralling races of the season.
Thanks to his fourth win of the year, Guintoli is now only 3 points short of series leader and reigning champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who completed the podium.
From the start it was Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) that led before Baz took his turn at the front. The first half of the race saw eight riders covered by a little over a second, before things settled down a little as Guintoli and Baz began to ease away.
Lap 13 saw Melandri pass Sykes much to the delight of the Aprilia pit garage, while at the front Guintoli and Baz remained locked together. The Aprilia RSV4 #50 overtook the Kawasaki ZX-10R #76 at the start of the fourteenth lap where it would remain.
Tom Sykes regrouped to claim the final podium spot as Jonathan Rea clung on valiantly to 4th ahead of Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), who were 5th and 6th respectively.
Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) and David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) crossed the line separated by 0.011s in their own private EVO fight, the pair finishing 12th and 13th overall with Spain’s Salom taking the EVO class series victory.
Results: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 17 Laps/91.460 km in 33’46.738 average 162.456 kph; 2. Baz (Kawasaki) 2.650; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 3.955; 4. Rea (Honda) 4.805; 5. Giugliano (Ducati) 7.861; 6. Elias (Aprilia) 8.192; 7. Davies (Ducati) 8.991; 8. Melandri (Aprilia) 10.512; 9. Laverty (Suzuki) 15.978; 10. Lowes (Suzuki) 21.456; 11. Haslam (Honda) 25.977; 12. Canepa (Ducati) 29.085; 13. Salom (Kawasaki) 29.096; 14. Barrier (BMW) 39.270; 15. Staring (Kawasaki) 43.360; 16. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 46.206; 17. May (EBR) 1’16.323; 18. Toth (BMW) 1 Lap; RT. Andreozzi (Kawasaki); RT. Rizmayer (BMW); RT. Cudlin (Kawasaki); RT. Yates (EBR); RT. Corti (MV Agusta).
World Supersport – Win no 6 for van Der Mark under Qatar lights
The final race of the World Supersport season was a close encounter and eventually won after 15 exciting laps by recently crowned champion, Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team).
Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) produced a spirited ride to 2nd, his first ever WSS podium and was joined on the podium by the pole position man Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
At the front it was van der Mark who controlled things notching up his 6th win of the year ahead of an impressive Wilairot, the Thai rider having the best ride of his season under the floodlights.
The final podium place was decided on the final lap after a fast and furious three rider scrap eventually went the way of Cluzel, the Frenchman clearly frustrated at the speed of his rivals.
Lucas Mahias and his DMC-Panavto Yamaha team mate Kev Coghlan were 4th and 5th with Roberto Rolfo (Go Eleven Kawasaki) completing the top six after showing some incredible pace in the closing laps.
Mason Law, the young English rider making his second outing on the Intermoto Kawasaki Ponyexpres was in the points again in 15th, backing up his debut point scoring ride in France.
Nasser Al Malki was a late addition to the entry list, joining the CIA Insurance Honda a mere two hours before FP1 on Friday. The Qatari rode to a solid 16th finish at the flag to the delight of the local fans and his team.
Jack Kennedy’s season came to an end on lap 4 as his CIA Insurance Honda expired along the main straight, a frustrating end to the Irishman’s year.
Results: 1. vd Mark (Honda) 15 Laps/80.700 km in 30’42.722 average 157.658 kph; 2. Wilairot (Honda) 3.570; 3. Cluzel (MV Agusta) 5.124; 4. Mahias (Yamaha) 5.476; 5. Coghlan (Yamaha) 5.578; 6. Rolfo (Kawasaki) 8.275; 7. Zanetti (Honda) 8.965; 8. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 12.367; 9. Tamburini (Kawasaki) 22.923; 10. Roccoli (MV Agusta) 23.081; 11. Marino (Kawasaki) 25.585; 12. Jacobsen (Kawasaki) 25.668; 13. De Rosa (Honda) 26.094; 14. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 28.026; 15. Law (Kawasaki) 29.868; etc.
Final Standings: 1. vd Mark 230; 2. Cluzel 148; 3. Marino 125; 4. Zanetti 112; 5. Coghlan 109; 6. Jacobsen 99; 7. Rolfo 97; 8. Sofuoglu 94; 9. Wilairot 70; 10. De Rosa 70; 11. Tamburini 70; 12. Kennedy 56; 13. Bussolotti 30; 14. Nocco 27; 15. Gamarino 27; 16. Wahr 26; 17. Russo 25; 18. Menghi 20; 19. Leonov 19; 20. Roccoli 15; 21. Schmitter 14; 22. Mahias 13; 23. Gowland 9; 24. Zaidi 7; 25. Coveña 7; 26. Marconi 5; 27. Law 5; 28. Debise 4; 29. Davies 3; 30. Calero 3; 31. Rogers 1. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 251; 2. Kawasaki 181; 3. MV Agusta 162; 4. Yamaha 121; 5. Triumph 9.