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Well, it turned out to be only round 12, as 2 events were cancelled, but you could not have hoped for a more spectacular venue for the grand finale!

First time under the lights, with a championship separated by only 12 points, this was going to be a thriller.

We were not disappointed!

A hugely controversial Superbike Race 1 was won by Sylvain Guintoli, trailing Tom Sykes by 12 points.  Loris Baz entered the final lap just ahead of team mate and championship leader Tom Sykes.  He was given an explicit instruction to back off and let Tom take 2nd place. He failed to do so, and rather than lose 5 points to Sylvain, Tom loses 9.  This was to prove decisive.

In race 2, just 3 points up now, Tom needed to beat Sylvain.  However not only was Guintoli on the roll and deeply motivated, his Aprilia was outpacing the Kawasakis on the huge straight, making Tom’s job of beating the Frenchman a very difficult hill to climb.  At the end, he ceded 2nd place to future team-mate Johnny Rea, although he could have almost certainly retained second. Here’s where the points come in: had he been 7 points up instead of 3, 2nd would have won the championship.

The fur flew after the event.  Kawasaki was gracious in defeat; but suffice it to say that Tom and Loris are probably not exchanging Christmas cards.

A silver lining on it all was David Salom of Kawasaki winning the EVO championship.  The top Kawasaki bosses present were joyful.

But for us intrepid few -- we had only 6 customers; just 2 on the Saturday (explaining the many pictures of Maria and husband Carl!) -- all this excitement and controversy seen up close and personal only added to the entertainment.  On top of this, with the run of a virtually empty paddock and a superb VIP (with beer & wine!) you couldn’t ask for a more pleasant event.

Like the MotoGP, Qatar is 2 weekends in one, giving us a chance to do all sorts of things during the days and catching the action at night.  Me?  Sunday I chilled out at the pool, and had a shopping wander through the awesome old Souk...

See our MotoGP web site for Qatar for more inspiration:

They are closing the SBK at Qatar in 2015 as well - join us!

All photos from PPT Guide Gordon Howell

See the all SBK events on

Losail International Circuit, Doha, Qatar, 31/10 - 2/11 2014

Love it or loathe it, you will feel privileged to be here. This is the grandstand at the start of race 2. We reckon about 100 spectators! You could catch any rider you wanted in the paddock

The happy Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli mounts a stunning come-from-behind charge to win the championship

Loris Baz was the subject of some controversy, but he is still a great chap, and Sunday night he says farewell to his crew, and our customer Maria, who acted as his umbrella girl