Sylvain Guintoli showed he’s still got the pace with a spectacular second race win at Assen this weekend.
The 2014 World Superbike Champion’s move to MCE British Superbikes this year has until now proved disastrous, with the Frenchman unable to get to grips with the new GSX-R in BSB-spec as well as the quirky British circuits.
Having shown flashes of pace at both Donington Park and Silverstone, BSB’s two other international WSB-style venues, it’s hardly a surprise Guintoli was quick this weekend but the victory still came as a shock to many given the challenges he’s faced this year.
“It’s been a really tough year, on many levels, for me, so this feels good,” said a relaxed Guintoli after the win. “But while it was tough, I never gave up. To get the bike here working with the BSB rules and find the right balance has taken some time, we had to adapt quite a lot.”
Racing on tracks that have been both foreign and perhaps a little daunting to Guintoli – rival Josh Brookes quipped that the Frenchman had found pace at Assen as the barriers were further away than at most British tracks – hasn’t helped his situation as the Bennetts Suzuki team tried to develop the all new GSX-R.
“As well as that, I’ve had to learn many tracks, I’ve had to be learn to be more comfortable with some of the British tracks and BSB is such a different category to anything else. You have to take a completely different approach here to World Superbikes, you have to race different, the bikes have to be ridden in a completely different way. This takes adaptation and time, so for sure I’ve learned a lot this year and I’m still learning.
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