Sylvain Guintoli returned to World Superbike action at the Lausitzring last weekend, some four and a half months after his horrific Imola highside.
He also returned to the series knowing he’d have no job for 2017 with his PATA Yamaha team, but with enough recent testing under his belt he scored a ninth and then fifth place from the weekend’s two races.
“I am all good now,” “I was back on the bike at Lausitzring and Magny-Cours for testing and it looks like the right wrist is still working well!” said Guintoli.
Injuring his left ankle in his fall at Imola, the exact reasons for such a long layoff for have not been fully explained. However, Guintoli says it was a significant fall: “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, Guintoli feels he hasn’t had the machinery capable of repeating that feat since, but says retirement was not on his mind during his long period of convalescence.
“I did not think of retirement,” said the 34-year-old father-of-four. I had some times in the past when I thought that. In 2009 after the BSB crash at Donington Park I did think about not doing it anymore because it was so bad. I think that was maybe the reaction to seeing my leg the wrong way around!
“This time, I never thought like that. 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.
In all it has been a difficult and painful year 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 now needs to look towards his options for next season as Michael van der Mark takes his seat in the Yamaha team for 2017.
“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!
“I am working at different options and we will see. I am working on options in World Superbike and BSB. I have to weigh up what is more challenging for me, where is it that I really want to go.”
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