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WSBK Monza: Guintoli: Sykes penalty decision obvious to me
12 May 2013 UPDATE: The FIM would reverse the original stewards' decision, with Tom Sykes regaining third place, demoting Sylvain Guintoli to fourth again
Sylvain Guintoli says it was 'obvious' that Tom Sykes should receive a penalty for unfairly overtaking him on the final lap of the second World Superbike race at Monza, the Frenchman belatedly awarded a podium finish as a result.
The Kawasaki rider passed Guintoli on the final lap on the run to the Roggia chicane, but would proceed to cut across the chicane without ceding the position back to his rival when he re-joined the track.
Though Sykes was originally awarded third and allowed to celebrate on the podium, the positions were later reversed after an Aprilia protest, giving Guintoli a top three finish.
However, a counter-protest by Kawasaki - following Sykes's insistence that only ran on to avoid the early-braking Marco Melandri - would be successful in having the positions changed again, leaving Guintoli fourth.
Prior to the race two controversy, Guintoli notched up a fourth place finish during race one, ensuring a decent points' haul that keeps his championship lead at a solid 13 points, even if it hasn't prevented his key rivals from making in-roads in his advantage.
“What an exciting weekend! In race one I felt like I was really fast until the halfway point and then my feeling dropped, so the fourth place finish was the most I could get. In the second race I had a better pace. The others were struggling a lot more to overtake me but in the last two laps I wasn't able to keep Eugene and Melandri's pace.
“The decision that was taken after Sykes' manoeuvre seemed obvious to me immediately. I'm happy with third place even though I missed out on the podium celebration because the team deserved it after working so hard. For the championship these are really important points.”