Q & A - Sylvain Guintoli, Yoshimura SERT Motul
The French rider – the 2014 Superbike world champion – is entering the FIM Endurance World Championship full-time for the very first time. Sylvain Guintoli already has a fair amount of Endurance experience, having won the 2010 8 Hours of Doha with SERT and claimed three Top 10 finishes in three different editions of the Suzuka 8 Hours with Yoshimura Suzuki.
He answered our questions during the 24 Heures Motos test at Le Mans last month.
What are your impressions after this initial outing with Yoshimura SERT Motul?
A good initial impression. It’s been almost two years since I rode the Superbike. The last time was in July 2019 at Suzuka. So I had to get used to the Superbike all over again, but it was very positive from the get-go. I had very good impressions and I was immediately at ease.
Does this entry mean you are returning for a full season in the world championship?
Yes, I’m back to full-time racing. It’s a major championship with very long races and new challenges like 24-hour races, which I’ve never done. But I’m used to long days of testing in MotoGP where you do a lot of laps over several days. But getting back to racing is doing me good, it’s giving me good impressions. It’s important to channel that inflow. You don’t have the same energy in tests. Nothing can substitute for the race.
How do you view the alliance between two teams you already know?
I’m pleased to be starting again, even more so with a team like SERT. And as a result of the closer ties with Yoshmiura, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Technically the machine is very similar to the Yoshimura I used at the Suzuka 8 Hours. It’s the union of two driving forces of Endurance and preparation. SERT is a monument, a legendary powerhouse in Endurance. With the Japanese championship and the Suzuka 8 Hours, Yoshimura have had special expertise in preparing the GSX-R for many years. It’s fantastic to join this team. Everyone is really enthusiastic.
You’re a very busy man with Endurance, MotoGP tests and your work as a MotoGP consultant.
I’m racing the Endurance World Championship. With Suzuki, I’m involved in MotoGP tests to continue development work. As a MotoGP consultant, I’ll comment some races for Canal in France and BT Sport in the UK. That’s a lot of different hats, but it’ll be fine. It’s all compatible.