Eugene Laverty will need a huge slice of luck to clinch the World Superbike title after key rival Tom Sykes seized a commanding advantage at Magny-Cours in France.
Sykes put one hand on the crown as the English rider bagged his third double of the season to collect all 50 points.
The Kawasaki star was unstoppable at the French circuit on the ZX-10R and dominated both races to emerge as the clear title favourite ahead of the final round of the championship at Jerez in Spain on October 20.
He now holds a lead of 37 points over Laverty in second place with two races remaining and a single finish of fourth place or higher will be enough to cement the title in Spain.
Laverty, who twice finished on the podium in third and second places respectively, said: “Tom was from another planet today. I tried to keep up with him in the first laps, but he gained too much ground coming out of the slow turns.
“I’m obviously pleased with the two results although our goal was to reduce the gap behind the leader. We made some improvements to the bike between race one and race two and I was definitely faster, but apparently it wasn’t enough,” he added.
“Jerez will be our last chance to make a play for the rider championship.”
With Sykes clear at the front in race two, factory Aprilia pair Guintoli and Laverty went head to head for second, with the partisan French crowd roaring on home hero Guintoli.
The duo swapped places time and again in the closing stages but as they entered the final lap, rain began to fall around the circuit and both dramatically crashed out at Adelaide.
Guintoli lost the front, while Laverty was fired off the RSV4 as he accelerated away from the hairpin.
Fortunately for their championship hopes the race was red-flagged, with Laverty declared in second place after the result taken back a lap.
Sykes – who missed out on the title last year to Max Biaggi by half-a-point – celebrated a deserved double as he tightens his grip on the world championship.
Behind the top three, Davide Giugliano, Chaz Davies (GoldBet BMW) and Vincent Phillipe on the Fixi Crescent Suzuki were the leading six.
In race one, Sykes opened a commanding lead and was in total control when the red flags came out three laps from the end after Pedercini Kawasaki’s Mark Aitchison crashed out.
Guintoli was a comfortable second on his home circuit with team-mate Laverty around 10 seconds in arrears as he took the final rostrum place.