Skip to content

Guintoli Back And Looking Forward | SPORT | WSBK

After an Imola highside crash so big it appeared never-ending on slo-mo playback, 2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli came back to competitive race action at Lausitzring – some four and a half months later.

He also came back to no job for 2017 inside his Pata Yamaha team, but with enough testing under his belt that he scored a ninth and then a – wet weather – fifth place finish in Germany last time out.

He was plainly feeling good about his race fitness after such a time away.

“I am all good now,” said Guintoli even before racing got underway at Lausitzring last weekend. “I was back on the bike at Lausitzring and Magny-Cours for testing and it looks like the right wrist is still working well! I am just looking to get back into competition because it has been a while and I have missed it a lot.”

Injuring his left ankle in his fall at Imola, the exact reasons for such a long layoff for Guintoli have not been fully explained. Guintoli says it was a significant fall, at least. “It was a heavy crash, really heavy, and it took a bit of recovering from. When I am back on the podium I will tell you exactly what the injuries were!”

Despite achieving a lifelong ambition of winning the championship in 2014 and not having machine options capable of repeating it since then, retirement was not on his mind during his long period of convalescence. “I did not think of retirement this time,” said 34-year-old father-of-four Guintoli. “I had some times in the past when I thought that. In ’09, in the BSB crash. I thought then, “I am not doing this anymore…” because it was so bad. I think it was the thing of seeing my leg the wrong way around was just like such a shocking thing for me because I had never had anything like it before. This time, honestly, I never thought like that. There was no pressure from my wife. She gets to make a lot of decisions, but not that one! Racing bikes is my passion but it is also what I want to do. Being away from the track from a few months now… that has been hard to deal with. Not the injuries. Once you get injured, well, you make a plan and get a positive attitude and you just recover. When you are away from what you love doing; that is harder. At this moment in time I feel that I want to get back to competing and racing again and be back on the grid. There I nothing that can get anywhere near that. I feel that I do not want to do anything else but just fight and race hard and go fast.”

Guintoli, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016

Guintoli, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016

In all it has been a difficult and painful ‘semi-season’ despite a bright enough start for the popular Frenchman, who qualified on the front row at Aragon and Assen.

With only four rounds left in 2016, he needs to look hard at 2017 now, as Michal van der Mark and Alex Lowes will be the Yamaha pairing next season.

“I am looking at different options and obviously I have had quite a bit of time to think about what I wanted to do – and not wanted to do,” said Guintoli, who may find his best options are in the BSB series now. “I am working at different options and we will see. I am working on options in World Superbike and BSB. I have to weight up what is more challenging for me, where is it that I really want to go.”

Next up for Guintoli is his home WorldSBK round, at Magny Cours – where he has tested already… and where it rains quite a bit at this time of year…

Guintoli, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016

Guintoli, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016