Sylvain Guintoli has been unveiled as Hawk Racing's headline signing as it is set to run the all-new Suzuki GSX-R1000R in the 2017 MCE British Superbike championship under the title banner Bennetts Suzuki.
The 2014 World Superbike champion makes his first return to BSB since 2009 and switches back to Suzuki looking to transform the new bike into a 2017 title contender.
“I'm really happy to be back in British Superbikes,” Guintoli said. “Even though it was short, I enjoyed my time in the series in 2009 with Suzuki. I had a really good start to the season on the GSX-R1000, with a win and three more podiums in four races, and I feel like I have unfinished business after that year.
“I'm now looking forward to working with Hawk and the Bennetts Suzuki team for 2017 and getting my first taste of the new GSX-R1000R, and I'm sure we can fight at the front from the start.”
Hawk Racing team manager Stuart Hicken is thrilled to secure the French rider's signature for 2017 along with new title sponsor.
“Sylvain is a top rider and a great asset to the team and the championship,” Hicken said. “He's proven his credentials on the world stage with a world title, and also on the British circuits too.
"We're extremely confident that in Sylvain and the new GSX-R1000R we've got a package that can compete at the very front of races and challenge for the championship.”
Guintoli will join the already-announced reigning British Superstock 1000 champion Taylor Mackenzie and a third rider is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
The French rider initially entered BSB from MotoGP in 2009 for the Worx Crescent Suzuki squad and despite suffering a campaign truncated by a broken leg he stepped up to World Superbikes in 2010 with the Japanese manufacturer.
After claiming a memorable 2014 World Superbike crown with Aprilia, Guintoli has spent a season each with Honda and Yamaha before being replaced by Michael van der Mark in the Pata Yamaha fold for 2017.
As a result, Guintoli will return to BSB in 2017 and is joined by fellow World Superbike journey Davide Giugliano who has teamed up with Tyco BMW for his rookie BSB campaign.