Sylvain Guintoli knew even before he got to Laguna Seca that he would have to go for it at this race and every other one, as Sykes was in an enviable championship position, so the prospect of Sykes taking more than his 38 points lead into the summer break is hard to bear pre-race.
“It is hard enough now,” said Guintoli. “Tom has been very strong has not made any mistakes and he is just hard to beat and catch, but sometimes the championship can turn around very quickly. We saw that in Malaysia and then we have seen it reverse in Portimao.
"The wet races I have missed two big opportunities to score because in both cases I would have been able to win the races, in Assen and Portimao. I do not blame myself because I have to take that kind of risk.”
Renowned as a wet weather expert Guintoli punctured a myth or two about before fast in the wet. “It is easy to assume that I feel comfortable in the wet – I am not comfortable! I am taking massive risks and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
"I think what is important is to have the right attitude and to go for it. At this moment we are too far behind to think that we can come home with some points in races.
"Tom Sykes had a slow race in race two in Portugal and came home with some points but this is not Tom riding at his best. I overtook him after crashing. But he has been clever and he is a few points in front so he can say ‘come and catch me.’”