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Sylvain Guintoli pulled out a stunning double victory at the season finale at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit to overtake Tom Sykes and capture the 2014 World Superbike Championship.

The Aprilia rider entered the final round trailing Sykes by 12 points. Racing under the lights at Qatar for the series’ first ever night races, Guintoli won the first race to cut the deficit to just 3 points before winning again in Race 2 to take the title by 6.

“I cannot believe it. I have been imaging this double win for the whole month. I never felt so good riding with this or any other bike before,” says Guintoli. “I proved it to myself and I’m happy. I think the title will sink in later on but for now I’m just overwhelmed.”

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For a while, it looked like Sykes had the 2014 title well in hand. The Kawasaki rider led all racers with eight wins and sat alone on top of the standings since May 25. A double at Misano and a win in Laguna gave him a 44-point lead heading into the final three rounds. But Guintoli was just beginning to heat up, finishing the season with eight consecutive podium finishes. Despite the obvious disappointment, Sykes gave the new champion his due credit.

“I don’t mind taking my hat off to a worthy champion. We have tried so hard all year and of course, a few incidents come to my mind now. But it is what it is,” says Sykes. “After the last few rounds, we knew Sylvain and Aprilia would have been strong. Unfortunately the outcome of today was … the winner takes it all.”

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2014 WSBK Losail Race One Top Five Results
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Time
1 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4 Factory
2 Loris Baz Kawasaki ZX-10R +2.650
3 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R +3.955
4 Jonathan Rea Honda CBR1000RR +4.805
5 Davide Giugliano Ducati 1199 Panigale R +7.861
2014 WSBK Losail Race Two Top Five Results
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Time
1 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4 Factory
2 Jonathan Rea Honda CBR1000RR +3.568
3 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R +5.092
4 Marco Melandri Aprilia RSV4 Factory +8.305
5 Chaz Davies Ducati 1199 Panigale R +8.390
2014 WSBK Top Five Final Standings
Pos. Rider Team Points
1 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia 416
2 Tom Sykes Kawasaki 410
3 Jonathan Rea Pata Honda 334
4 Marco Melandri Aprilia 333
5 Loris Baz Kawasaki 311

[Source: WSBK]