Sylvain Guintoli says he is thrilled to return to the World Superbike podium for Pata Yamaha as he secures the manufacturer's first rostrum result since it comeback to the series this year.
After solid outings at the previous two rounds in France and Spain built up momentum, the Pata Yamaha rider finally broke on to the rostrum for the Japanese manufacturer with third place in race one at Losail before backing it up with fourth place in the shortened race two.
Guintoli's podium saw the Japanese manufacturer return to the top three in World Superbikes for the first time since 2011 when Marco Melandri won the final race of the year for the factory team before it withdrew from the series in a four-year hiatus.
The French rider, who himself was returning from five months out injured having suffered a broken ankle at Imola in May, made his final appearance for the team before being replaced by Michael van der Mark for 2017.
“I started by qualifying well and then took a good rhythm into the races straight away, with a strong pace,” Guintoli said. “I really feel like I raced well, I was pushing on the limit with some good moves in the early stages before pulling away."
"In race two it was a shame about the red flag that's for sure, because, even more so we had a very strong pace on used tyres but were lacking the outright pace with the new tyres. For the first race, it was a perfect race for me, a perfect start and a perfect first-half anyway.
"In the restart I tried to fight as much as I could but our pace with new tyres just wasn't strong enough. It's a shame, it would have been a podium without the red flag but we've finished on the strongest performances of the year and I feel like I'm ready to fight another day.
“It's a really positive result for us and a great satisfaction for me to take the first podium for Yamaha in their return, especially after almost five months away from racing, so I'm very happy."
The 2014 World Superbike rider enjoyed a remarkable run of form over the final four rounds, taking the fourth-highest points tally on the grid behind the front three of Chaz Davies, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.
Guintoli is currently linked with a return to British Superbikes in 2017 and rumoured to be in talks with Tyco BMW and a number of other teams.