Suzuki MotoGP test rider Sylvain Guintoli flirts with the idea of a return to WorldSBK | MotoGP
Guintoli, who last raced in WorldSBK for Puccetti Kawasaki in the last two rounds of 2017, will run out of contract with Suzuki at the end of this season.
Not only will Guintoli be out of contract as the Japanese manufacturer’s official MotoGP test rider, but also as a World Endurance rider after Suzuki ended all participation in motorcycle racing for financial reasons.
Part of the roster of reigning world champions alongside Gregg Black and former MotoGP rider Xavier Simeon at Yoshimura SERT Motul Suzuki – Guintoli, Black and Simeon also top the 2022 championship standings after two rounds – Guintoli was a big reason for Suzuki’s continued success on the Endurance stage.
However, his role as a MotoGP test rider proved equally vital after helping to develop a GSX-RR that Joan Mir took to the world title in 2020.
The options to join another manufacturer are likely to be plentiful for the French driver given his experience and success, but the championship in which he competes might come as a surprise.
Now 40, Guintoli has not ruled out the possibility of a return to WorldSBK after recent talks at Donington Park.
“At the moment, I don’t know in which direction I’m going”, Guintoli told SPEEDWEEK.com. “I’m in the market for next year and the future and talking to a lot of different teams and manufacturers.
“I have to find out what is possible for me. There are some great opportunities as a test rider, but I also believe I can still be competitive in the Superbike or Endurance World Championships and I’m looking around. of me.
“I am one of the more experienced riders and I have the necessary speed. At the end of the 2017 season I did some races for the Puccetti Kawasaki team, which was very positive.
“At Donington I spoke to Manuel Puccetti and other teams, let’s see what happens. He has a very good team and has made some progress since 2017.
A SBK world champion with Aprilia in 2014, Guintoli has shown enough pace in his MotoGP wildcard appearances to suggest he could do better than some of the current Superbike riders.
Guintoli set to be Suzuki’s last MotoGP signing elsewhere
With Alex Rins already confirmed at LCR Honda in place of Alex Marquez who has joined Gresini Ducati for the 2023 MotoGP campaign, an announcement from Joan Mir at Repsol Honda is also expected in the near future.
Mir, who like Rins saw his first championship challenge plagued by DNFs following confirmation that Suzuki intended to leave MotoGP, will replace Pol Espargaro who is likely to return to KTM in the form of his Tech 3 outfit. .