Sylvain Guintoli has described Marco Melandri's win in the second World Superbike race at the apparent deference of his team is a 'gamble' as he prepares for a title showdown with Tom Sykes in Qatar.

The Frenchman made significant in-roads into Tom Sykes' advantage at the top of the WSBK standings with a win and a second place, but while the victory was aided by team-mate Melandri bowing to team orders, his counterpart would controversially not follow suit in the latter despite being requested to do so.

It means Guintoli, who has finished second to Melandri in three of the last four races, is 12 points behind Sykes in the overall standings heading to the Qatar finale, instead of the seven he would have faced had the Italian adhered to his pit-board request to swap position.

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Though Melandri says the win was a 'compensation' for his efforts on a day he showed superior speed in difficult conditions, Guintoli admits the situation is now a gamble for him given he can't win both races in Qatar knowing he would be guaranteed the title.

"It seems today was not consistent," he said. "We have to hope that Marco is strong there in Qatar as well [to finish ahead of Sykes], but this is a gamble. The Jerez races were a gamble and this is a gamble. It is not my call and I have zero decision on this. All I can do is take the points when I feel it is safe to do so.

"I didn't know [about the pit board], but with me not knowing, I was thinking is he going to let me through or not and I can't risk anything."

"I feel like we have been playing a poker game for four or five rounds, but nobody is folding and we are still putting money on the table," he joked.

Even so, Guintoli admits he was in no position to challenge Melandri, saying the potential to lose a chunk of points at this stage in the season prevented him from pushing.

"We actually improved the bike quite a between the races and it felt a lot better. I could have put up the fight but I can't risk anything. If I lose 20 points then this is me done. It was a waiting race and it was more important not to make mistakes so we can come to Qatar in a strong position."