Sylvain Guintoli, the 26-year-old Frenchman who has electrified the British Superbike Championship this year, was sensationally knocked out of the first race of the third round of the series at Donington Park when he suffered a bizarre accident on the sighting lap.
Guintoli’s Worx Crescent Suzuki was involved in a collision with the HM Plant Honda of Josh Brookes as they approached the Melbourne hairpin, the slowest corner on the 2.5-mile circuit.
The bikes touched in an explosive crash that left burning parts on the track. Guintoli, who had qualified in second place behind Leon Camier on the Airwaves Yamaha, was conscious but driven away in an ambulance while his rivals started the race.
Guintoli will be sadly missed at Donington, as he has been the only rider who looks capable of troubling the Airwaves machines in the championship. Brookes also missed the race.