The Frenchman took the lead on lap 5 and take his first career double and the crown.
Doha (Qatar) – Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) is the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Champion after a nail biting season final race held under floodlights at the Losail International Circuit.
The Frenchman took the lead on lap 5 and, courtesy of a strong race pace and a new lap record of 1’57.906, he pulled a solid gap on the chasing duo of Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) to take his first career double and the crown.
Sykes and Rea battled race long to determine the final spots on the podium with the Honda rider just edging the outgoing champion for second in final three laps.
Quotes after race
Sylvain Guintoli: “I cannot believe it. I have been imaging this double win for the whole month. I never felt so good riding with this or any other bike before. I just enjoined it so badly. It has been such a 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.”
Tom Sykes: “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 2, 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 the final standings Rea finished 3rd, one point ahead of Marco Melandri.(Aprilia Racing Team) Five riders fought hard for 4th with Melandri 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 Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) in 11th, with Bryan Staring (Iron Brain Grillini Kawasaki) riding 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.
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.