Sylvain Guintoli will race in MotoGP for the first time since 2011 after agreeing to race for Team Suzuki ECSTAR at this month’s French Grand Prix. The former World Superbike champion will substitute for the injured Alex Rins as he continues his recovery from a broken wrist sustained at the Grand Prix of the Americas.
Guintoli has endured a difficult 2017 so far, riding the all-new Suzuki GSX-R1000R in BSB, but the Frenchman is excited to have one more opportunity against the world’s best in two weeks’ time.
“First, I would like to thank Suzuki for giving me this fantastic opportunity. 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. 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 to the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. 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.”
Team manager Davide Brivio is pleased to have drafted in a rider of such calibre and expects his experience to stand him in good stead.
“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. 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. I want to give a warm welcome to Sylvain from our team, and all we ask from him is to enjoy his time with us and make the most of this opportunity. We are also happy to give this small token of affection to our French fans, who will have another Frenchman racing the MotoGP in their home GP.”