Tom Sykes says he and Kawasaki need to simply capitalise on their advantage over Sylvain Gunitoli during the final round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship in Qatar as he looks to become the first man since Carl Fogarty to successfully defend his title.

Indifferent WSBK race weekends at Jerez and Magny-Cours have seen Sykes' advantage whittled down to 12 points over Guintoli with just the two races around the floodlit Losail International Circuit remaining, setting up an enticing showdown between the Kawasaki and Aprilia men.

With eight wins to Guintoli's three, though Sykes has managed just one podium in the last four races, he says he simply needs to retain his normal focus to come out on top.

Related Articles

"It has come down to crunch time and there is a lot at stake at this meeting - but I am just looking to go out and doing what we normally do," said Sykes. "There has been some input from the weather in the championship recently, which obviously made it closer than it perhaps would have been, but the long and short of it is that we are the ones with the advantage, so we need to make the most of that.

"I am in the very fortunate position that this is the third year on the bounce that we have been battling for the world championship so we just need to see what we can make of it on race day."

Returning to the WSBK calendar for the first time since 2009 - the season Sykes made his WSBK debut -, the Englishman is excited about the opportunity to race under floodlights for the first time.

"I am really looking forward to racing at Losail because it is a track I have competed at before and I was also here for the Ninja ZX-10R launch. I rode under the floodlights during the launch and it is a completely different experience - and one that I am really looking forward to again.

"The layout at Losail is fantastic as you can open up the full potential of a Superbike and you feel that there is a good element of safety, so I cannot wait to get going on Friday evening."

Sykes scored one of the best results of his rookie WSBK season in 2009 on a Yamaha, with a run to fifth place in race two.

No rider has successfully defend their World Superbike Championship title since Fogarty in 1999.