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Guintoli Back In WorldSBK Paddock | SPORT | WSBK

For the final two rounds of the 2017 season 2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli moves from his Suzuki BSB ride to a privateer opportunity with the upwardly mobile Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team.

Asked if it felt weird being back in WorldSBK, after a year in BSB, he said, “It does not feel weird to be back here, but it feels nice to be here, and with a big challenge ahead. It is really exciting to be in WorldSBK with a different bike. A bike that I have never experienced before, so I am really looking forward to discovering it and starting to understand it.”

Sitting just a couple of metres from the same kind of Ninja ZX-10RR privateer bike that took Leon Haslam to a second place WorldSBK wildcard finish at Donington Park in May this year, Guintoli was clearly anticipating the possibilities of getting on yet another kind of bike to finish of what has been a busy season. This weekend will, for example, will be his first try out on Showa suspension this year. “The suspension is different, and this year I have ridden all different ones. The MotoGP and Suzuka bike was on Öhlins, the BSB bike as on Bitubo and this one has Showa. All different bikes, with all different suspension. This year already has been really busy and then we are adding another different challenge, which makes it exciting.”

Guintoli, Catalunya MotoGP 2017

Guintoli will only find out how much of a sheer performance differential there is to the official KRT machines of Rea and Sykes when he takes to the track on Friday morning, but he hopes to be able to come back into WorldSBK at Jerez at a high level. He has scored three previous Jerez podium finishes as a factory Aprilia rider in the past.

“The exact difference in the bike? Manuel (Puccetti) would be a lot more able to tell you the difference but what I understand is that the bike can be competitive, and then we will see on track. This year there is quite a big difference in engine but what I understand also is that the team is trying real hard to have a competitive package. The bike, in theory, should not be too far away.”

Guintoli has still not made final racing plans for next year, according to his Thursday comments in Spain.

“Next year, for now, I will do these two races, in Spain and Qatar and then next year we will see,” stated Guintoli. “We will see what happens after that. For next year, for now, there are still discussions ongoing with many different plans. That is why we are going to do Jerez and Doha, see how they go and then understand what the best way forward is.”

Guintoli, Catalunya MotoGP 2017

By Gordon Ritchie