Sylvain Guintoli narrowed the gap to leader Tom Sykes to just twelve points.
Magny-Cours (France) – The penultimate round of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World witnessed a change of momentum for the title race, which will be decided on November 2nd at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Thanks to a win and a second place in the two wet races at Magny-Cours, Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) narrowed the gap to leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) to just twelve points.
The 32 year old Frenchman was cheered on by a vocal and enthusiastic home crowd that numbered some 74,514 over the race weekend.
Marco Melandri, who was second and first in the two encounters, completed the perfect race meeting for Italian works manufacturer. The former 250cc World Champion showed great form once again by stepping atop the podium for the sixth time in twelve races. Sykes on the other hand did his best to contain the damage by finishing the two encounters in fourth place after claiming an impressive Pole Position in dry conditions the day before, when he took the outright fastest lap ever recorded at the circuit.
Two titles were decided today as Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado grabbed the ultimate prize of the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup after a dramatic final race that saw his title rival Luca Savadori crash on the last lap, while Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport) raised the Champion’s trophy for the 2014 Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda.
Sylvain Guintoli: “It’s been a great weekend for me and the team, as we managed to close the gap to the leader. As soon as I saw the weather forecast for today, I immediately thought there would have been a good chance to make some ground to Tom. I took some risks at the beginning but once I built a good lead I kept focused and tried to avoid any mistake, in order to get the best possible result. I’m very happy although I’m already thinking about the Qatari Round, as it will be the title decider. It’s a track I know quite well, I like it and I think it will suit the RSV4 well. I wish we were racing there tomorrow!”
Tom Sykes: “In race one that was the limit. I wanted to go faster but unfortunately we have had some limitations for some time in wet conditions and we cannot just quite get to where we need to be. For race two we were also restricted by conditions. It was a big shame because we know I can go much, much faster. Given the conditions these results are better than I expected, so there is one bonus. I wanted to fight with Sylvain and win the race but first I needed to finish the race. It could have been a lot worse but it could have been better. We are still in the best position in the championship so we need to go to Qatar and hopefully it lives up to its reputation as a desert and we will come out swinging.”