Guintoli eyes World Superbike return with Suzuki

Sylvain Guintoli says the recently introduced new Suzuki GSX-R bike he races with this year in British Superbike would have a good chance of success in World Superbike.

Guintoli eyes World Superbike return with Suzuki
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Thirty-four-year-old Guintoli was a WSBK regular between 2010 and 2016, and also the champion in 2014.

After his 2016 campaign was shortened by injury and was only 11th, Guintoli found himself without a ride following Yamaha's acquisition of Michael van der Mark.

Guintoli, who will replace the injured Alex Rins in the factory Suzuki MotoGP team for his home race at Le Mans, joined Hawk Suzuki in British Superbike, which introduced a new Suzuki GSX-R bike, for 2017.

While the bike electronics in BSBK are different to that of WSBK, Guintoli tested the machinery under the latter's regulations at Sepang, and reckons it's "almost ready to go to the world championship".

"The new Suzuki that I tried at Sepang with the World Superbike system was already working very well in January," Guintoli told "To me, it was already almost ready to go to the world championship.

"In BSBK, it's quite a different scheme because electronics are completely different. It's a very succinct electronics, a unique ECU with very basic strategies.

"It's [Suzuki going to WSBK] an option. At the moment nothing is decided but this new Suzuki GSX-R clearly has a big potential, that's for sure.

"It's a bike that was made to go on track, it was done well, the engine is very powerful, there is a very good basic for work, so if tomorrow Suzuki has the will to make it work in the world championship, I think it has a good chance of success.

"If this happens, for sure I'd like to be part of the journey."

After the first three rounds of the BSBK season, Guintoli sits 14th in the standings with a best finish of seventh and three retirements.

"We are working on all fronts, this gives us experience with the bike, we are also working on the chassis, we try to adapt as much as possible the bike to the Pirelli tyres.

"At the moment we've had some troubles but it's normal with a new bike, we expected it and we will improve during the season."

Guintoli made his WSBK debut with Suzuki in 2010, the final year a Suzuki bike could be better than 10th in the standings with Leon Haslam becoming runner-up behind Aprilia's Max Biaggi.

Suzuki bikes remained in WSBK until 2015, but could only score one win with Eugene Laverty in 2014.

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