BSB: Guintoli joins team Suzuki

2014 WSB king sets sights on Bri­tish crown

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - OLI RUSHBY BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­

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

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