Sylvain Guintoli has been left without a ride for the 2018 season after the Puccetti Kawasaki squad decided to run just one bike in the Superbike World Championship next year.
The Italian effort will field young Turkish star Toprak Razgatlioglu, who has been closely mentored by countryman Kenan Sofuoglu in the premiere class after a successful test at Portimao earlier this year saw him just 0.3 seconds off Jonathan Rea’s fastest time.
However, the move leaves Guintoli out in the cold after competing in the final two rounds of the 2017 WorldSBK championship, hopeful of securing a full-time ride with the squad after a difficult year in BSB.
Speaking to MCN on Monday, the 2014 WorldSBK champion assured he still has irons in the fire: “There is some good stuff coming up, but I’m afraid I can’t talk about it yet,” he said.
Options are limited as to where Guintoli could end up. Seats on the 2018 WorldSBK grid are starting to fill up with Jordi Torres heading to MV Agusta, Loris Baz replacing the Spaniard at Althea BMW and Jake Gagne joining Leon Camier at Red Bull Honda.
Should he wish to have another crack at BSB options are also running slim, with most competitive seats in the hotly-contested domestic series also now sewn up.
Guintoli told MCN back at the Assen round of British Superbikes that he had an option to return to World Superbikes (presumably with Puccetti), a number of options to remain in BSB and even hinted towards the potential of a more permanent role with Suzuki’s MotoGP test team.
Suzuki GP boss Davide Brivio told MCN in September they were keen to work with Guintoli after several successful outings this year, including when he replaced the injured Alex Rins at Le Mans, Mugello and Catalunya.
Alternatively, could a move to the Endurance World Championship be on the cards?
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