World Superbike Season Finale In Qatar
Sykes 204 points
Guintoli 185 points
I think Davies has done a sterling job in his first year.
Lets hope Aprilia dont give Melandri a bike with "gremlins" inside, the’d never, would they ? :shifty:
Tom Sykes says he and Kawasaki need to simply capitalise on their advantage over Sylvain Gunitoli during the final round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship in Qatar as he looks to become the first man since Carl Fogarty to successfully defend his t**le.
Indifferent WSBK race weekends at Jerez and Magny-Cours have seen Sykes’ advantage whittled down to 12 points over Guintoli with just the two races around the floodlit Losail International Circuit remaining, setting up an enticing showdown between the Kawasaki and Aprilia men.
With eight wins to Guintoli’s three, though Sykes has managed just one podium in the last four races, he says he simply needs to retain his normal focus to come out on top.
“It has come down to crunch time and there is a lot at stake at this meeting – but I am just looking to go out and doing what we normally do,” said Sykes. “There has been some input from the weather in the championship recently, which obviously made it closer than it perhaps would have been, but the long and short of it is that we are the ones with the advantage, so we need to make the most of that.
“I am in the very fortunate position that this is the third year on the bounce that we have been battling for the world championship so we just need to see what we can make of it on race day.”
Returning to the WSBK calendar for the first time since 2009 – the season Sykes made his WSBK debut -, the Englishman is excited about the opportunity to race under floodlights for the first time.
“I am really looking forward to racing at Losail because it is a track I have competed at before and I was also here for the Ninja ZX-10R launch. I rode under the floodlights during the launch and it is a completely different experience – and one that I am really looking forward to again.
“The layout at Losail is fantastic as you can open up the full potential of a Superbike and you feel that there is a good element of safety, so I cannot wait to get going on Friday evening.”
Sykes scored one of the best results of his rookie WSBK season in 2009 on a Yamaha, with a run to fifth place in race two.
No rider has successfully defend their World Superbike Championship t**le since Fogarty in 1999.
Sylvain Guintoli believes his Aprilia RSV4 will suit the Losail International Circuit ‘like a glove’ as he looks to overhaul Tom Sykes for the 2014 World Superbike Championship t**le.
A win and two second places from the last four races have seen Guintoli whittle Sykes’s advantage down from 44 points to 12 with just the Qatari event remaining, even if controversy was sparked by Aprilia team-mate Marco Melandri not ceding his win when asked at Magny-Cours.
Nonetheless, Guintoli has high hopes for the final event, which returns to the calendar after five years and will be held under floodlights for the first time, suggesting the high-speed, sweeping layout of the track will play to the RSV4’s strengths.
“Last visit to Qatar I won the race ("8h of Doha") and the Team I raced for was World Champion (Endurance), back in 2010. I love the track and it will suit the RSV4 like a glove. I am very excited about this weekend and very focused on our target.
“I have worked very hard for this and since Laguna we have closed the gap from 44 to 12 points. Sykes is defending well but we are now very close.”
WSBK Qatar: Last 2014 chance for Davies to break Ducati duck
Chaz Davies has just two races remaining in the 2014 World Superbike Championship at Losail to give the Ducati 1199 Panigale its long-awaited first win this year.
Currently classified sixth in the overall standings, Welshman Davies has been on the podium on four occasions in 2014, but neither he nor team-mate Davide Giugliano have stood atop it.
With just two races remaining to prevent Ducati from suffering its second win-less year with the 1199 Panigale, though Davies is cautious of his chances around the Qatari circuit, he is eager to end the season on a high.
“It’s been a few years since I last raced in Qatar. I remember it being a great track and a great facility but it’ll be quite different racing at night I imagine, it should be interesting. I’d like to close the season with the best possible results and so hope to be able to make two good races, despite the long straight that could penalise us.
“Anyway I’m looking forward to getting back on the track after this break and will do my best to conclude the 2014 championship with positive results.”
Marco Melandri says he will be looking to maintain his strong end-of-season form during the final World Superbike Championship round in Qatar in an effort to a**ure Aprilia defends its manufacturers’ t**le.
Three wins in the last four races have seen Melandri strengthen his position in the WSBK standings and though his impressive form has come too late for him to mount a challenge in the riders’ reckoning, it has been crucial to Aprilia’s efforts to catch and surpass Kawasaki in the manufacturers’ standings.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s WSBK finale under the floodlights of Losail, Melandri makes reference to producing more good results to help Aprilia claim its t**le, though it is his motives in relation to t**le-contesting team-mate Sylvan Guintoli that is likely to be of greater interest.
“I’m very happy to race at night in Qatar,” he said. “I really like both this place and this track and I’m sure that my RSV4 will adapt very well. I really want to continue my position streak and help Aprilia take the Manufacturer World Championship”
The Italian moved over for Guintoli in the first race at Magny-Cours on the request of the team, only to ignore a similar order in race two as he went on to claim a victory. It means Guintoli is 12 points behind Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes in the standings, rather than seven.
Aprilia leads Kawasaki in the manufacturers’ standings by 23 points.