Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes goes into this weekend’s World Superbike title decider in the desert of Qatar with a 12-point lead over Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli and knows he has to beat the Aprilia rider to retain his title.
The Huddersfield man lost vital points in the rain at Magny-Cours almost a month ago but was helped by none other than Guintoli’s team-mate Marco Melandri who ignored instructions from the garage and won the second race with Guintoli in runner-up spot after handing him the race-one victory.
“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. 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,” said Sykes.
“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.”
It will be the first time a WSBK race has been run under floodlights and the weather should remain dry - but the MotoGP round at Losail had to be postponed for a day in 2009 when it leathered down with rain (see below)