2014 Qatar World Superbike Race One: Closing Night

In the penultimate Superbike race, the first ever at night, Sylvain Guintoli could not win the title, but, if things went his way, Sykes could. 

Sykes took the lead from third place on the grid by the first turn, with Guintoli right behind him, but Jonathan Rea and Loris Baz passed him, putting Guintoli three places behind Sykes. Rea took the lead from Sykes before the first lap ended, but on the straight at the start of the second lap, Sykes and Rea were both passed by Loris Baz, making the most of the clean air in the wake of the two leaders.

Further back, Marco Melandri demonstrated the extra power of this weekend's fresh engines, passing slower bikes with the Aprilia's 20kmh advantage to get to seventh place, the back of the battle for the lead, snapping at the heels of the Ducatis of Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano.

On the fourth long lap, while Davies battled with Giugliano, Guintoli used the lifted pressure behind him to make a play on Sykes and, at the beginning of the fifth lap, Guintoli powered past Sykes, showing that he too had a mechanical advantage down the straights with his new engine. Three laps later, the eighth of seventeen, Guintoli passed Rea, but it took the whole lap to make the pass stick, but at the end of the lap, Guintoli only had Baz ahead of him with Rea behind him, ahead of Sykes. Further back, Melandri was making short work of Guigliano and Davies, and catching Sykes at the same time as Guintoli was catching Baz.

On lap thirteen, Melandri took fourth place from Sykes with a typically hard pass, and Guintoli powered past Baz at the start of lap fourteen. Guintoli was four places ahead of Sykes at this point and stood to lead the championship if it stayed like this. Melandri and Rea traded places ahead of Sykes and Sykes was able to use the fight to take back fourth place from Melandri and take the fight to Rea.

At the start of the penultimate lap, Sykes passed Rea on the straight, risking an outbraving manoeuvre on the outside edge of turn one, taking back third place. Meanwhile, Baz was over a second from Guintoli as Kawasaki prepared Baz's pltboard.


Loris Baz crossed the line at the beginning of the last lap with the order to drop one place and give Tom Sykes behind him second place as it was clear he could not catch Sylvain Guintoli. As the lap went on, with Sykes fending off Rea's passes, there were fewer places he could let his teammate past, and as the last few corners came into view, it looked like Baz wasn't going to give up his place.

A highly excited Sylvain Guintoli won the race ahead of Loris Baz who refused to give up his place to Tom Sykes, while Jonathan Rea too fourth place as Melandri dropped to ninth.

Tom Sykes leads the title by only three points going into the last race. A second victory will guarantee Guintoli the title.



Pos No. Rider Bike Gap Best Lap Speed
1 50 S. GUINTOLI Aprilia RSV4 Factory   1'58.388 323,4
2 76 L. BAZ Kawasaki ZX-10R 2.650 1'58.096 317,6
3 1 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 3.955 1'58.565 317,6
4 65 J. REA Honda CBR1000RR 4.805 1'58.655 317,6
5 34 D. GIUGLIANO Ducati 1199 Panigale R 7.861 1'58.206 319,5
6 24 T. ELIAS Aprilia RSV4 Factory 8.192 1'58.824 323,4
7 7 C. DAVIES Ducati 1199 Panigale R 8.991 1'58.567 317,6
8 33 M. MELANDRI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 10.512 1'58.626 326,3
9 58 E. LAVERTY Suzuki GSX-R1000 15.978 1'59.356 314,0
10 22 A. LOWES Suzuki GSX-R1000 21.456 1'59.084 311,2
11 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000RR 25.977 1'59.087 314,0
12 59 N. CANEPA Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO 29.085 1'59.675 304,2
13 44 D. SALOM Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 29.096 1'59.918 305,1
14 52 S. BARRIER BMW S1000 RR EVO 39.270 2'00.760 309,5
15 67 B. STARING Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 43.360 2'00.768 296,7
16 11 J. GUARNONI Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 46.206 2'00.877 300,8
17 99 G. MAY EBR 1190 RX 1'16.323 2'02.400 295,1
18 10 I. TOTH BMW S1000 RR 1 Lap 2'05.459 303,4
RET 21 A. ANDREOZZI Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 10 Laps 2'00.512 298,3
RET 16 G. RIZMAYER BMW S1000 RR EVO 11 Laps 2'02.707 293,5
RET 95 A. CUDLIN Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 15 Laps 2'00.897 297,5
RET 20 A. YATES EBR 1190 RX 15 Laps 2'02.633 288,8
RET 71 C. CORTI MV Agusta F4 RR 16 Laps 303,4 2'02.097


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