Sylvain Guintoli heads to this weekend’s Portuguese round of the World Superbike Championship with renewed optimism after a positive showing at Donington Park. The Frenchman finished eighth in both races but was impressed by the upgrades brought to his PATA Honda and is hopeful of closing the gap to the leaders still further at Portimao.
“It was clear from Donington that the new components and strategies that we tested were definitely a step in the right direction, so I’m looking forward to this weekend in Portugal to continue that development process. At Donington I felt that I was riding the bike well and I felt more comfortable on it. There was still a gap to the front that is larger than we would want but all we can do is keep working in the way we have been to try to close it. It’s not going to be easy but we’ll just keep our heads down and continue the hard work. I had a good weekend at Portimao last year and I really like the track which has been good to me in the years we’ve been going there, so we’re hoping for more positive progress this weekend.”
Teammate Michael van der Mark has failed to score in the last three races and is travelling to Portugal with the aim of regaining some consistency.
“Last year was good with the win in World Supersport, even though it came with the rain. But I’m really looking forward to the weekend because I love this place. We had a test earlier this year so I’ve ridden the CBR Superbike at Portimao and even though it was really cold and often wet I was able to make some laps. I love the roller-coaster ride with all the fast corners and blind crests. Some parts are quite different on the Superbike but that also makes it more fun! But after too many DNFs already this season I really need some good strong results, so I’ll be working hard with the team this weekend to get me and the bike ready for Sunday’s two races.”