Aprilia double boosts Guintoli’s title hopes

Speedcafe.com

Monday 6th October, 2014 - 12:12am

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Sylvain Guintoli on his way to race one victory at Magny Cours

Sylvain Guintoli on his way to race one victory at Magny Cours

Sylvain Guintoli boosted his World Superbike championship title hopes with victory in the penultimate round of the season held in tricky wet conditions at Magny Cours.

The Frenchman starred on home soil with victory in the opening encounter before finishing second to his Aprilia team-mate Marco Melandri in race two.

Guintoli’s double podium has seen him close to within 12 points of Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, who currently leads the championship standings.

PATA Honda’s Jonathan Rea leapt into the lead early in race one which was shortened to 19 laps due to the treacherous conditions.

However, Guintoli soon found his rhythm to shoot passed the Northern Irishman before moving away from the field.

Melandri also dispatched Rea and set his sights on Guintoli before team orders instructed the Italian to hold station in second.

In the end, Guintoli took the chequered flag from Melandri and Rea with Sykes fourth ahead of Kawasaki team-mate Loris Baz.

Rea led the way at the start of race two but a spectacular crash on lap 11 left Guintoli and Melandri to battle it out for the victory.

This time Melandri saw off his team-mate to take the win with PATA Honda’s Leon Haslam seeing off Sykes to record his first podium since Misano 2012.

The World Superbike Championship heads to Qatar’s Losail circuit for the final round on November 2.