Sylvain Guintoli, the 2014 World Superbike Champion is back in British Superbikes with unfinished business to attend to!
Hawk Racings owner & founder, the vastly experienced Stuart Hicken, who this year takes overall charge of the Bennetts Suzuki team effort, wasted no time in signing up the highly rated Frenchman to race the new GSX-R1000R.
Unquestionably, Sylvain is very much World Class – and in reality, but for injuries sustained in qualifying for the Italian round at Imola last season (causing him to sit out 5 rounds), would almost certainly still have been on the World stage again this year.
It was back in 2009 that ‘Guinters’ rode in BSB (riding a Suzuki). Sadly he only made the opening two rounds (at Brands Hatch & Oulton Park), impressively scoring a win plus three further podiums, before he was on the receiving end of an incident on the warm up lap at the next round at Donington Park. The result being he was sidelined for half of the series nursing a broken femur, eventually making a tentative return for the final 3 rounds.
The ‘Honorary Brit’ will surely be one of the favourites to get into the Showdown Phase.
Guintoli is teamed with Taylor MacKenzie, the current National Superstock 1000 champion, who without question was one of, if not the most improved rider of last year. A brave tough competitor, he will give as good as he gets, and could be one of the surprise packages of the year.
Richard Cooper, steps down from the Superbikes to be the teams representative in the National Superstock 1000 series. Winner of the championship in 2011, don’t bet against him repeating the feat again this year.