Suzuki calls up Guintoli for Le Mans MotoGP race
Suzuki has called up 2014 World Superbike champion Sylvain Guintoli to deputise for injured MotoGP rookie Alex Rins from the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
Rins broke his wrist in a practice crash at Austin, and after missing that race will be replaced by Suzuki test rider Takuya Tsuda this weekend at Jerez, before Guintoli takes over from his home event at Le Mans.
Guintoli moved from World Superbikes to race a Suzuki in the British Superbike Championship this year, and made 38 MotoGP starts between 2002 and ’11, primarily in full-time campaigns in ’07 and ’08 with Tech3 Yamaha and what has become Pramac Ducati.
He will test Suzuki’s MotoGP GSX-RR at Jerez on Tuesday, following this weekend’s Spanish GP.
“Being able to ride the GSX-RR, currently one of the fastest racing machines in the world, is a very exciting prospect, let alone at my home race in front of the French fans," he said.
“The Le Mans Grand Prix brings back a lot of strong memories - the best one, of course, was leading the MotoGP race for a few laps in 2007.
“This is going to be a very difficult challenge, adapting to the very powerful prototype MotoGP machine and the Michelin tires, but my main goal is to enjoy the experience and give 100% commitment.
“The test on Tuesday will give us some time to adapt and to start understanding this amazing motorcycle.
“Finally, I want to wish a very good recovery to Alex."
Rins' injury is expected to require at least six weeks to heal, meaning he is also in doubt for the Italian GP at Mugello in early June, but no timeframe has been placed on his return.
“For us it’s a good opportunity to be able to substitute Alex with Sylvain, who is a rider with strong and solid experience in racing, both in Superbike and MotoGP,” Suzuki’s Davide Brivio said.
“He is a former world champion in Superbike and he is already racing for Suzuki in the British Superbike Championship, so he is already part of the Suzuki family.
“With him we will try to carry on with the development of our GSX-RR, trying to improve it more and more.
"Also, during the races, hopefully we will be able to prepare an even more competitive package for Alex when he returns to us.
“Of course we hope this will happen very soon, that he is at 100%. In the meantime, we’ll try to fully take advantage of these races.”
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|Location||Le Mans Circuit Bugatti|
|Teams||Team Suzuki MotoGP|