The interesting numbers that came out of the final round.
WorldSBK.com takes a look at the facts and figures that emerged from the last round of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship at the Losail International Circuit, Qatar.
Sylvain Guintoli managed a unique feat in World Superbikes history: he was able to clinch the title heading to the final race with a points disadvantage, overturning the tables only at his last possible chance. In the past, in the history of the Championship, there were several cases of champions facing the final weekend with a points disadvantage (the last was Ben Spies in 2009), but only Guintoli made it facing the very last race as the runner-up in the standings.
Other curiosities about Guintoli's title:
He is the second French rider to win the title after Raymond Roche, 1990.
He managed to claw back to the championship leader, Sykes, a maximum of a 44 points deficit (the gap between the two after the 18th race, Laguna Seca/2). A significant value, as last year it was Sykes who clawed back 47 points to Guintoli (the gap after the fourth race), winning the title.
He is the rider who managed to close the highest points deficit before the final weekend: 12 points. The previous record was set by Ben Spies, which in 2009 faced the final weekend in Portimao 10 points down on Haga.
He is one of the seven champions to claim the crown without being the most successful rider of the season after Fred Merkel in 1988 and 1989, Scott Russell in 1993, Carl Fogarty in 1998, Colin Edwards in 2002, James Toseland in 2004 and Max Biaggi in 2012.
He is one of the four champions who scored points in every race of his championship-winning campaign after Colin Edwards in 2002, Troy Corser in 2005 and Max Biaggi in 2010. At the moment Sylvain counts an active streak of 38 races in the points, only one shy of the all-time record of Max Biaggi, which scored points in 39 straight races, from the first 2009 Brno race to the first in Donington 2011.
World champion with only five wins, in a season of 24: before him, Carl Fogarty in 1998 managed to win the crown with only three wins in a season of the same length. In 2012 Max Biaggi claimed the title with five wins in a championship of 28.
He took the title at 32 years 4 months and 9 days: slightly younger than Troy Bayliss in 2001 (32 years 5 months and 10 days).
He is the second World Champion for Aprilia after Max Biaggi (2010-2012).
He claimed his maiden championship at his fifth full season in Superbikes, the same needed by Sykes, last year's champion.
He is the third champion to seal his title with a double in the final weekend after Colin Edwards in 2002 and Troy Bayliss in 2008. The most relevant aspect is that up to now Sylvain had never scored double wins in his career;
Other stats of the weekend
With the double win in Losail Sylvain Guintoli reached 40 career podiums, the same of 1991-1992 World Champion Doug Polen. Sylvain scored podiums in each of the last eight races this season, either in first place (3 times) or in second (5 times).
Jonathan Rea scored his best ever result at the end of a championship: third, up from fourth recorded in 2010.
Loris Baz scored in race one his second career fastest race lap after a wait of more than two years: his maiden one was in the second race in Silverstone, two years ago.
Davide Giugliano scored his third pole, allowing Ducati to celebrate their 300th race with a front row appearance in Superbike history.
Aprilia won their fourth manufacturers’ title in the last five years (they missed out in 2011: Ducati) and now in the all-time standings they share second place with Honda, whose last title came in 1997. At the top of the standings Ducati, with 17 championship wins.