Aprilia Racing Team’s Sylvain Guintoli kept a grasp of his championship lead this weekend at Portimao after securing two second position finishes at the Portuguese circuit.
|Guintoli had a consistent weekend
Photo: World SBK
Despite starting from the middle of the second row of the grid, the Frenchman was soon up with the leaders by turn one and fighting for the victory. Locked in a five man battle for the lead in race one, Guintoli fought hard to be with Melandri in the closing laps and just missed being the race victor by 0.007s, making it the fourth closest WSBK race in history. Race two provided a similar outcome for the 30 year old although in different circumstances. Guintoli was back in third position for the majority of the race before catching Jonathan Rea in second; finishing just over four seconds back of his team-mate and race winner Eugene Laverty.
The Frenchman now has a 28 point lead over Tom Sykes in the world championship standings“In Race 1 I started off cautiously, trying to look after the tyres. This strategy helped me fight down to the last thousandths. It was a shame to have victory slip through my fingers, but I’m pleased with the way I managed the race. I had a few indecisions at the beginning of Race 2 but I quickly found my pace to finish the race well. After overtaking Rea I pushed to widen the gap, even risking a bit in the last turn, but unfortunately everything went well and we are leaving Portimão with some important spoils for the Championship”.