It’s safe to say Sylvain Guintoli has been earning his keep in recent months. Several tests, the Suzuka 8 Hour and the British GP at Silverstone has been just a few of the things on the Team Suzuki Ecstar test rider’s schedule, but teammate Alex Rins’ win for the team at a sun-drenched Silverstone was just-reward for how hard the entire team continue to work.
Guintoli stepped in for the injured Joan Mir at the Northamptonshire layout and chatting to Team Suzuki Ecstar, the Frenchman described the special weekend.
Sylvain, you’ve been riding a lot recently, and on a lot of different circuits. How did Silverstone compare? Did you notice the improvement in the track surface?
“I really noticed the difference compared with the past! It felt fantastic all weekend. Silverstone did a great job after last year’s problems. It was really great to ride; it was really quick with a lot of grip. The corner speed felt unbelievable with our bike. It was such a pleasure to ride on the new surface, and in the sunshine! I live in the UK and I know how rare these hot and sunny weekends are!”
Being a last-minute wildcard and replacing Joan at a technical and difficult track like Silverstone isn’t an easy task, but you showed strong pace and a put in a great performance, how would you describe Sunday?
“It was a truly great day for us, and for all of Suzuki, both in Europe and Japan. And a good day for me as well because I was able to score some points. I felt good on the bike all weekend but I wasn’t really setting any expectations for myself, I just wanted to complete a good race. In the end I got a better result than I thought I would, and I’m really happy with the 12th place finish. Alex’s win was absolutely brilliant, I’m so happy I was there to celebrate with him and the team.
“This is Suzuki. When we win, everyone just goes wild! We celebrate like a family and we’re all so happy for each other. It’s truly special. We are small but well organised, committed, focused, professional...”
What is the plan now? Will you finally have a break?
“This summer has been crazy busy with testing and racing, I’ve spent a lot of time on the bike and it’s been really good. Now I’ll have a little bit of rest and time with my family before testing in Motegi, and then also I will have another wildcard ride in Motegi, so I’m really looking forward to racing again!”
Read Guintoli’s chat in full over on Suzuki’s website!