Sylvain Guintoli says being on the front row for the World Superbike races at Laguna Seca is what counts despite being comfortably out-performed by Tom Sykes in qualifying.

The Frenchman - a pole sitter around the Californian circuit in 2013 - will start on the front row in second position this year, despite falling half-a-second shy of dominant pole sitter and WSBK championship leader Sykes.

Despite this, Guintoli maintains it is the races that counts and he is expecting them to be closer than qualifying suggests.

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"Superpole didn't go badly. Unfortunately Sykes put in a very fast lap. The front row is what counts. On a track as twisty as this one starting off strong and getting out front as soon as possible is essential. Like always we did our homework, preparing for the races the best way we know how.

"I think we'll see two very close and exciting races so I can't wait to get onto the track and I hope to have some fun!"