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GUINTOLI

GUINTOLI “IT’S LIKE A RACE BIKE ALREADY”

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Sylvain Guintoli completed his and the Bennetts Suzuki team’s final shakedown test at Mallory Park yesterday, putting in valuable time onboard the new GSX-R1000 he will race in the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship, ahead of preseason tests at Cartagena and Almeria next week.

While the team continued to work on building its BSB-spec engines, the former World Superbike Champion was putting in the laps on a relatively standard machine, instead working on the development of the BSB-spec electronics. However, while the Frenchman will test the higher-spec engine in Spain next week, he was full of praise for the new bike and the progress he and the team had made so far.

“My bike was fairly standard,” he said after the test. “It was the first time I’d ridden my bike in the dry so we were just working on the BSB-spec electronics. It had my suspension and superbike brakes, so we also worked a little bit on a base setup. But the rest of the bike was standard.

“But it’s like a race bike already. The head angle, offset, is all as you’d design a race bike anyway. And it’s fast. It’s crazy that anyone can buy one of these and ride it. Even with the cold we were pretty fast with a set of slicks in it. I just didn’t want to get off it. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike in Spain next week now.”

The team will now head to Cartagena for a three-day test next week, before spending two days at Almeria ahead of the official BSB test at Donington Park on 22 March.