Guintoli Mindful of Honda’s Need to Improve

Sylvain Guintoli is under no illusions over the task facing himself and PATA Honda after failing to match the pace of the leading teams in Thailand. The defending champion lies fourth in the standings after a fifth and a sixth in Buriram but the Frenchman couldn’t ignore the CBR1000RR’s lack of pace relative to its rivals from Kawasaki and Aprilia in particular.

“We’ve now been to two different tracks with different characteristics and we can see that our pace is not as good as our rivals. So that gives us a base to work from and try to improve in key areas. Even though we’re not fighting for wins at the moment we’re still working to find solutions in the team and that will get the results we want. In race one I did my best, of course, but we were just too far away from the pace of the front group. I did everything I could, but it turned out to be a bit of a lonely race for fifth.”

As if life wasn’t difficult enough for Guintoli, his Honda failed to start on the sighting lap for race two, forcing him to start from the back of the grid, but the world champion fought valiantly to take sixth despite physical discomfort.

“Race two was much more fun, even though we had a small technical problem which meant I had to start last. I had a great start and a great first two corners but then I got a bit over-excited and braked too late in turn five and lost three places. Finally I had a great battle with my team-mate which was more entertaining. Towards the end of the race I did my best lap time which was probably faster than my qualifying time, and that felt perfect, but it was difficult to be consistent. It’s only my second race on the bike and I’m still suffering from the neck injury in these dehydrating conditions.”