Sylvain Guintoli will have a clear track ahead of him for the first time in nine years when he takes to the grid for his maiden British Superbike Championship race after snatching pole position at Brands Hatch.
The ex-MotoGP rider marked his arrival to the championship by setting a scintillating pace through the three phases of qualifying, the Frenchman proving the only rider to get into the 45secs bracket after setting a benchmark of 45.944secs
Also a landmark performance for the newly rebranded Worx Crescent Suzuki, Guintoli was thrilled to emerge as the man to beat during his first-ever Superbike qualifying session.
“It feels good,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “It has been a long time since I have had a pole position, so it is a great feeling. We tried a lot of different things on the bike through the sessions and it made the Suzuki quite a lot faster, which is good for tomorrow. It is my first race in Superbikes, with the team and at Brands Hatch, so everyone has done a really good job.”
Crucially, Guintoli's pole position winning pace was consistent as he promptly reeled off a series of lap times that, while not quicker than his first effort, would have been enough to beat second place Steve Plater three times over. It is this consistency that Guintoli considers to be most pivotal in his quest for victory.
“Consistency is the most important thing. We have done many fast laps, so it makes me confident for the race tomorrow.
“The start is very important, but we have a good pace,” he added. “Every time I get behind someone, I feel like I have good opportunity to overtake. The engine of the bike is very fast too. We can't see it here, but once we get to the faster tracks, we should see it more.”