BACK TO CRASH.NET
Crash.Net WSBK News
Sylvain Guintoli - Q&A
23 May 2013
Sylvain, you've lived in England for several years now and also have an English wife, Caroline. How did you find the transition?
I would say that my whole life revolves around England. I spoke very little English upon moving here but quickly learnt and adapted.
I love the English mentality in both their personal and professional lives. It's a way of life that I enjoy and it suits me very well.
Caroline and I married in 2006 and have only ever lived in England along with our three children. My wife doesn't work and instead takes care of them and me, so perhaps it's better to say she has four children because I consider myself one of them! Actually, we are expecting our fourth child in November.
This weekend's World Superbike round at Donington Park is of particular importance to you. Do you consider it a home event?
Yes, it is a very special event for me. Firstly, I only live 20 minutes away by bike from the circuit so consider myself 'at home'. It's also given me some unforgettable memories: in 2003 I met my wife there, which must have been a sign.
Less pleasant was my accident in 2009 when I sustained the most severe injuries of my career during a British Superbike round. I could not ride for several months. It was a difficult time and prompted me to ask a lot of questions about the future. But today I am happy to be back fighting on the track, especially against the British riders. There are a lot in World Superbikes this year and I have a good relationship with all of them.
It will be even more fun to race against them at Donington Park because, while I consider it my home, they view me as a Frenchman. They're keen to perform in front of their fans but it's the same for me! So it's very exciting and a big challenge. I also consider Magny-Cours' round in October a home race. I guess I'm lucky to have two national events, so to speak.
Talking of Magny-Cours, is it a key date personally during your season?
Of course! It's important for me to do well in front of the French public and I'm looking forward to it! I would love to produce a strong performance there. Unlike 2012 this season's final round doesn't take place at the circuit, but I will be just as excited to be riding in France again.
I had not competed at Magny-Cours for 10 years when I returned in 2010. It was a special feeling that took me back to my days racing in the French championship. So much had happened in between. I really like the circuit, enjoy racing there and fighting for the best positions. I would be so proud to finish on the podium, win or even celebrate securing the title there. I'm sure it will be a great event this year.
So it sounds like you've thought about clinching the title at Magny-Cours?
That's still a long way off. At the moment I'm not putting any pressure on myself regarding the title and am taking the races one at a time. It's important to score points at each event, finish on the podium if possible and keep doing what you can. This is a dual strategy of course because you must always fight as hard as possible. I'm up for the challenge but won't take any reckless risks that would prevent me from scoring points.
Naturally, this attitude is based on winning the championship and I will do everything to make that happen, but for the moment the season is still long. The team and I share the same objective: to do our best to make the podium and win races. If we do that the title will follow. I'm happy because I have a good motorcycle; the Aprilia RSV4 is amazing and really powerful.
There is a very good relationship with the team and I am privileged to be working with highly skilled people who previously helped Max Biaggi to win the crown. I'm very happy this year.
BACK TO CRASH.NET