Guintoli impresses at Motogp comeback
MCE British Superbike racer Sylvain says he’s excited to return to Motogp after a 10-year absence, with the Frenchman replacing the injured Alex Rins on the factory Suzuki machine this weekend at his home race in Le Mans.
Guintoli last raced full-time in the premier class in 2008, and had arguably the most famous moment of his Grand Prix career at the Le Mans circuit when he led the 2007 French Grand Prix in the rain as a rookie on the Tech 3 Yamaha, before leaving the class and eventually ending up as World Superbike champion in 2014.
However, while it might have been a decade since he last sat on a Motogp bike, the 34-year-old impressed in a two-day test at Jerez following the Spanish GP, eventually getting his lap time down to within only a few seconds of Maverick Viñales – something that he says surprised even him despite the sweetness of the GSX-RR machine.
“Even though I’ve been riding different bikes for a long time, I was quite apprehensive at the test, because I haven’t ridden a Motogp bike for so long. I didn’t really know what to expect, but the bike felt great. It’s a beautiful little missile and it’s absolutely sorted. The physical input is less than I’m used to, it’s very agile and very light – everything feels really sharp, like a big, powerful 250 GP bike!
“The power is huge, but she felt friendly – she wanted to be pushed, and it feels just so beautiful. Nothing compares to it, because there’s power everywhere but it’s controlled and almost unique.”
‘ It’s a beautiful little missile and it’s absolutely sorted. It’s very agile’ SYLVAIN GUINTOLI