Sylvain Guintoli says he is 'overwhelmed' to be crowned the 2014 World Superbike Champion after a timely double win during the final round in Qatar proved good for him to overturn a deficit to Tom Sykes in the last race of the year.

The Frenchman came into the weekend 12 points behind Sykes, but a dominant display in both races, coupled to his rival's modest third place brace, sees him end the year six points out front.

A remarkable turnaround for a rider that was 44 points adrift of the top spot with just six races of the season remaining, three wins and three second places proved pivotal in his quest to catch and surpass Sykes, Guintoli becoming the first Frenchman since Raymond Roche in 1990 to clinch the world title.

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Indeed, having certainly begun the final event as the title outsider, Guintoli admits his success is taking time to sink in.

"Coming here I knew I had to try and do something special, so I took some risks," he said. "I didn't think I would be that fast in the races, but I just relaxed. I have never felt so good riding any kind of bike, so it is a great day.

"I felt I was in the attack mode. I have been like that since Jerez and I had the chance to do it because the gap was not so big. So I tried to get my head down and try and win.

"I am still overwhelmed by the whole thing. For me it has been a great season. Last year, after the [shoulder] injury, I felt like I was on the back foot and it was hard, because it was painful. This year I couldn't wait to go racing again."

Guintoli's title win sees him secure a third riders' championship for Aprilia (after Max Biaggi in 2010 and 2012), while the Italian manufacturer has notched up its fourth manufacturers' crown too.


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Deserving & Sylvain should enjoy it to the max because he won't be able to duplicate the feat on the prehistoric Fireblade next year.