BSB: Guintoli joins team Suzuki
2014 WSB king sets sights on British crown
Sylvain Guintoli has been unveiled as Suzuki’s star BSB signing and will pilot the all-new GSX-R1000 in a bid to topple Shane Byrne as the main man in the MCE British Superbike Championship.
The Frenchman has unfinished business in MCE British Superbikes after his 2009 title attack was hit by injury following an incident on the warm-up lap of the third round at Donington. He was just 11 points off runaway victor Leon Camier at the time. Now he expects to be fighting for the title with his Hawk Racing Bennetts Suzuki squad.
He told MCN exclusively: “I had a good experience when I last rode in BSB. I won the first race in 2009, took pole position and a few podiums, before I was ruled out with the bad accident.”
Despite the move coming just two years after he won his first world title with Aprilia in 2014, Guintoli isn’t viewing the return to BSB as a step back. With Kawasaki and Ducati dominating WSB, Guintoli just wanted the chance to ride a competitive bike in an exciting series. He added “I just want to be somewhere I can challenge. You get frustrated when you can’t compete for the victory. I was lucky enough to be part of that exclusive group of those who had the right bike to fight for victory in WSB in 2013-14. I won quite a bit and took the 2014 world title, but over the last two years even when things were good it was very, very hard to fight with the top four bikes as there is just too much of a gap to them.
“It is a cliché for a racer to say they want to win, but it’s the truth! I wake up every morning thinking about racing
‘ The GSX-R looks like being a real weapon and I’m looking forward to proving that’ SLYVAIN GUINTOLI
and how I can win, and unfortunately I don’t feel I can do that in WSB with the options available, and I haven’t been able to do it for the last two years. That’s why a change of scenery was needed for 2017.”
While he is revved up for the move, Guintoli admits there is one element of a BSB return that is hard to swallow.
“While BSB isn’t really a step down, the biggest difference for me is that you’re not fighting for a world title. You might be fighting top class riders and having great races, but the title at the end isn’t a world title and that’s an important difference, especially after you’ve won one! That being said, once you’re past that it’s a great series. I visited Cadwell Park this season and I was really impressed with how many people were there and how the championship has evolved since I rode there in 2009.”
Guintoli also knows it won’t be easy fighting for the British crown and is looking forward to a busy winter testing schedule as the Hawk team works hard to get a new machine BSB battle-ready.
Guintoli added: “I would love to fight for the title but we have to be sure we will be competitive from the start of the season. On paper, the GSX-R looks like it will be a real weapon and I’m looking forward to proving that, but we need to ride it first! The competition in BSB is not easy – Shakey is the man to beat but Leon gave him some trouble this year, it was very entertaining to watch. Add to that the new GSX-R, Giugliano on the BMW and 2017 has all the ingredients to be a really exciting season!”
a halt to his title bid Guintoli’s 2009 British Superbike season was on fire before injur y called leaving WSB Guintoli sits down with MCN to reveal his BSB ambitions, and why he’s
Sylvain puts pen to paper with Hawk Racing’s head honcho Stuart Hicken Guintoli is relishing the chance to take the fight to reigning champ Shane Byrne