Sylvain Guintoli says he is 'gutted' to have missed out on a first World Superbike Championship podium after putting in a dogged performance on home soil at Magny-Cours.
The Frenchman came into the concluding event having scored in every race this season, but having failed to make it onto the podium, he was determined to end his campaign with the result he had been chasing all season.
What transpired was a frustrating day for Guintoli as he fought up at the front of both races but would ultimately just miss on his rostrum target.
A controversial decision marred Guintoli's first race after he cut the Nurburgring chicane and didn't follow the correct route back onto the circuit. As such, while he didn't gain an advantage, Guintoli was given a drive-through penalty – his subsequent decision to ignore it prompted a black flag and exclusion.
“Too be honest, I'm absolutely gutted! I fought like an animal today and half my effort was ruined because of a black flag. That was in race 1, when I was happily fighting in the top four. I did accidentally cut part of a chicane, but made sure I didn't gain any positional advantage, but it seems that I was supposed to rejoin in some marked area.
“I didn't see any area, so just assumed all was OK. Later the black flag with my number came out, but by then it was too late. I got disqualified because I was adjudged to have not respected the black flag.”
Coming out fighting in race two, Guintoli raced into an early lead, but a mid-race shuffle would push him down to fourth position behind Michel Fabrizio. Nonetheless, roared on by the home crowd, Guintoli edged back into contention for third, even snatching the position on the final lap.
However, Fabrizio wasn't done and a determined effort – as well as a bit of contact - three corners from home would see him deny Guintoli a popular result.
Nonetheless, despite missing out on that podium, Guintoli's fourth was still enough for him to claim a very respectable seventh in the standings and as the second best placed WSBK rookie.