25 April 2008
Q&A: Sylvain Guintoli.
The young Frenchman stunned the Le Mans fans by briefly leading his wet home race, as a MotoGP rookie, whilst riding for Tech 3 Yamaha last season - but has endured a tough time in his first three races as a Ducati rider, with a best finish of 14th...
What does Le Mans mean to you?
I am really proud to be here in Le Mans and represent the MotoGP category for my country. It's a true honour. It is always a pleasure for me to be here and I am looking forward to coming back soon for the Alice Grand Prix.
Le Mans feels like home to me. I have raced here many times and it is one of the best tracks in my opinion. It's really particular, also thanks to the weather conditions which are really bizarre. The weather can change at any time making each race simply unique.
What do you think about the track modifications?
I think that each time a track undergoes some modifications, even small ones, it makes it more fun and interesting for us riders and for the fans. It's a new challenge and you have to learn which is the best way to attack the turn or chicane, where and how to pass your opponent or how to defend your position in the best way. Or simply, you have to learn how the new asphalt reacts. It's like having a new toy to play with and get to know it.
Last year you had a good race, until…
Yes, last year things were going really good for me, until we know what happened. I was in first position on lap 6, it was an incredible feeling and I hope I will be able to feel the same sensation in the next grand prix here in Le Mans. I really can't wait to be here to race, even if first we must concentrate on the Chinese race, on a track which should be good for our Ducati-Bridgestone package, where I am hoping to keep improving.
How are things going with your new team?
I couldn't ask for more. Everything is going quite well with the team. We all work very hard and every single component of the team is a true professional, but everyone is also really friendly and accommodating with me. Also Toni [Elias] is a really nice guy and we get alone quite well.”
Before Le Mans there is Shanghai. Will you be able to get a good result?
I really hope so. In these first three races it hasn't been easy for us, but starting from China, things should get better. In Estoril we have already made some progress. Last year in China, Ducati and Bridgestone did a great job. Hopefully it will be the same this year and we will be competitive right from the first free practice session.
And of course, the first good result will be dedicated to your new baby girl…
Well, I'll dedicate it to the three girls who are waiting for me at home right now, my wife and my two little girls, but first we have to keep working hard and see how things will go in the next few races. I am really happy in this moment of my life and I am hoping to reach a good level of competiveness soon. Also the Alice Team deserve some good results for what they are doing for me.
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