The World Superbike season wraps up this weekend with a double-header in Qatar, and it could be a real nail-biter.
While Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) is in the series points lead and could take his second consecutive championship, Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli has been gaining on him rapidly, now sitting only 12 points back.
“I love the track and it will suit the RSV4 like a glove, Guintoli said of this weekend’s race. “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”.
But Sykes isn’t going to roll over and give up.
“The long and short of it is that we are the ones with the advantage,” he said, “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 raceday.”
Another tough competitor for Guintoli will be his own teammate, Marco Melandri. Melandri was asked to let Guintoli past at Magny-Cours, to preserve his chance at the rider championship. Instead, Melandri took first – good news for Aprilia in the manufacturer’s championship, but bad news for Guintoli. In fact, Melandri’s comment on Qatar was “I really want to continue my streak and help Aprilia take the Manufacturer World Championship.” Sounds like he’s a company man, but maybe not brimming with team spirit.