Sylvain Guintoli says he was getting flashbacks to last season after red flags stoppages went a long way to preventing him from mounting a challenge for a much-needed World Superbike victory at Laguna Seca.

Starting second on the grid for the opening race, Guintoli was beaten down to the first turn by Aprilia team-mate Marco Melandri and though a subsequent error by Tom Sykes would see him rise to second before the opening lap was out, he would spend the remainder of the race in that position.

Preferring not to launch an attack on Melandri after their coming together at Portimao last week, Guintoli was satisfied with second despite being on the 'wrong' side of a third Aprilia 1-2 finish.

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"In race one I had a good pace and I didn't make any mistakes," he said. "In the first laps I was feeling good and I probably could have attacked Marco, but I preferred to stay behind him. From the halfway point on he was really fast. He rode very well and I wasn't able to match his times.

Eager to go one better in race two, history would instead repeat itself after two red flags, a seven lap sprint and a poor start conspired to give Guintoli little opportunity to tackle Sykes for victory.

Coming after a red flag stop in last year's race almost certainly prevented him from winning too, while another second place finish for Guintoli was certainly appreciated, he was frustrated to be losing more ground to his main title rival

"I gave 100 per cent like I always do. The red flags in race two reminded me of last year and I thought maybe I could overturn the result, but Sykes is really unbeatable in a short dash. We are definitely in it and we won't give up, but during the summer break we'll have to work hard to come back even stronger for the season finale."

Sykes's win in the second race means Guintoli remains 44 points adrift in the overall standings heading into the summer break.