Yamaha "a lot more competitive" than expected, says Guintoli

Sylvain Guintoli was left satisfied with Yamaha's factory return to World Superbike racing at Phillip Island, saying the manufacturer's bike was stronger than originally anticipated.

The Frenchman and his teammate Alex Lowes both qualified inside the top five and Guintoli went on to take fifth and sixth in the two races respectively.

"A really solid weekend for us and a strong start to the season here at Phillip Island," said the 2014 WSBK champion.

"Like we said at the team launch a month ago, it is going to take some time to be able to win races but, saying that, we've been a lot more competitive here that I thought we would be!

"Because we have been so close to the podium and to the victory - with three seconds in Race 1 and two seconds in Race 2 - we are going to take this on board and continue to improve the whole package without taking away from the DNA of the bike.

"It is clearly a very good base for our first race, and the start of our championship campaign, so we will just continue to work from here and move on to Thailand in two weeks."

Issues for Lowes

Unlike Guintoli, Lowes failed to capitalise on his strong starting position as he only collected two points from the weekend.

Retiring from Race 1 after a run through the gravel, Lowes suffered another crash on Sunday's warm-up.

That forced him to use the spare bike, which developed problems on Lap 1 - and the Briton could not do better than 14th.

"It's been a difficult and disappointing weekend in terms of results for me, but overall there are a lot of positives to take," Lowes reckoned.

"My knowledge and understanding of the YZF-R1 and how best to ride it have developed a lot throughout the week, as we have shown in the improvement from Friday practice through Saturday.

"Sometimes you just have to take the positives where you can, but I think we have many strengths to develop at such an early stage in the project and, as the season progresses, I will be pushing to achieve the best result I can for each and every race."

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Phillip Island
Track Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Drivers Sylvain Guintoli , Alex Lowes
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Article type Breaking news