Following an intense winter programme of testing, Sylvain Guintoli says is as ready as he can be to make his British Superbike Championship debut at Brands Hatch.
The Frenchman will make his bow aboard a sole Worx-sponsored Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000, but while he is yet to turn a competitive wheel on a Superbike, nine days of testing and copious mileage on the machine have left him feeling well prepared
Indeed, while Leicestershire-based Guintoli treads new territory with his switch from MotoGP to BSB, he has shown impressive form during testing and is confident he will be challenging at the front straight away.
“I am really ready for Brands Hatch and the first races of the season. I have been prepared for my debut since we completed the last test in Spain and I know that the Worx Crescent Suzuki is well prepared for this weekend.
“We have a good base setting and with the extra day of testing on Good Friday we will be able to get out on circuit and make some small adjustments to the settings ahead of the races. For sure I am feeling confident, we need to get a good start and then go from there."
Despite an occasionally tumultuous off-season brought on by the loss of long-time title sponsor Rizla, Crescent team manager Jack Valentine is pleased to made it to the first round with a potential race-winning package.
“Obviously with the economic climate over the winter there has been a focus on cutbacks, for us and throughout the BSB paddock, and no question we're a physically smaller team this year,” he said. “But I'm very happy with the team we have and I'm happy to say we've maintained the budgets where they count.
“We completed as thorough a programme of testing this winter as we ever have and so while we have a brand new bike I'm very confident that already we have a competitive package. There's still work to do, but from a team point of view we're well set-up and ready.
"With a competitive bike and with a rider in Sylvain who's both genuinely fired up and willing to do the hard work, we're looking forward to a good performance at Brands. Two podium finishes and a bagful of points would make us very happy."