Early championship leader Sylvain Guintoli is looking forward to the next phase of his ViSK.com British Superbike adventure with a first trip to Oulton Park.
Guintoli arrives at the Cheshire circuit having marked his debut in the category at Brands Hatch with a win and a second place finish for the Worx Crescent Suzuki team.
Faced without the advantage of an extended free practice period, as he enjoyed at Brands Hatch, Guintoli has nonetheless used the gap between races to attempt a track day and become more accustomed with the layout.
The venue for Suzuki's double victory in the hands of Tom Sykes last season, Guintoli is confident he can prove similarly competitive.
“I've ridden nothing like this track before and for some of the corners I think I'll have to close my eyes for a second! I've been around it in a car and after Brands we came here and I rode about 40 laps on a track day. I couldn't do proper lap times because of the traffic but I got a good idea of the corners and it really is a very nice track.
“It'll be tough, but there is no reason why we shouldn't do well here. The team scored a double win here last year, so it suits the bike – and this year's GSX-R1000 is even better."
Team manager Jack Valentine, meanwhile, says he won't be pressuring Guintoli into repeating his Brands Hatch feat, but at the same time he wants to see him challenging towards the front come race day.
“The bike has shown through testing, and at Brands, that its base set-up is very good – it's worked on every track we've been to. For this weekend we expect to make only small changes to the settings to ensure Sylvain gets the best balance and feel with the bike.
“We won't be pressuring Sylvain, though. It's a long weekend and with Sylvain being new here we'll look for a progressive improvement in lap times – top 10 will be fine to start with, but we'll expect to be at the front by the races.”