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Guintoli to make WSBK debut at Portimao

19 October 2009

Suzuki has confirmed Sylvain Guintoli will make an early World Superbike Championship debut after being called up to compete at the 2009 season finale in Portugal.

The Frenchman will ride for Suzuki Alstare in 2010 after being revealed as one-half of an all-new rider line-up for the team, alongside Leon Haslam.

However, with Max Neukirchner not returning to the team, former MotoGP rider Guintoli will be given the chance to sample World Superbike racing for the first time at Portimao alongside his successor at Worx Crescent Suzuki in British Superbikes, Yukio Kagayama.

Guintoli's appearance comes just a week after undergoing surgery to remove a screw from the plates used to repair the tibia and fibula he fractured in an accident at Donington Park earlier in the year.

Nonetheless, Guintoli, who won his first-ever Superbike race at Brands Hatch, is feeling good about the healing process.

"The operation is good because it means I can put more pressure on my leg and that should help the healing process. It's still not completely joined but it will be by next year. Over winter I'll have the rest of the screws out and everything will be good," declared Guintoli.

Guintoli, along with Haslam, is expected to participate in the Portimao tests on the Tuesday and Wednesday following the race weekend.


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