6 August 2013
Sylvain Guintoli - Q&A
There are moments when a rider just lights it and it's there, that is what's beautiful about this sport. You get riders who just offer you those moments, and you can feel that a rider is on it and I think those moments are beautiful. The most recent example for that is how Marc Marquez was riding at Laguna Seca, on that corner pass, I'm 100% sure that on Thursday he went there, he had a look at that corner and he knew what he was going to do. He knew it, it was premeditated.
Would you say you're an instinctive rider or a strategic one?
For me I just like to get into the zone and let go. It's not easy to do and you need to feel absolutely right with all aspects, but when you're in there it's brilliant. Also confidence makes all the difference, confidence for me is massively important.
Given that riding fast seems to be so emotional, why are there so few sports psychologists in the sport?
We used to have one in the team I worked for in the last two years and he was a nice guy, but when you've got somebody who isn't a rider telling you what to do or to stay calm or whatever, you don't want to stay f**king calm, you just want to ride the thing hard and feel good with it. You don't want someone explaining to you why you feel happy or unhappy, it's just annoying, you really don't want that.
Was your move from MotoGP to BSB in 2009 a conscious strategy to re-launch your career?
The thinking there was that I'd been a long time in 250s and MotoGP where I hadn't had the best bike to do well and I thought that I just needed to think of something to get back to my winning ways.
From 2000 I didn't f**king win anything. You get to the point after eight years racing where you feel you're just surviving in the championship and you want to do better than that. I'd just never been able to get to that point where you can smell blood. When you've got the team and equipment to win, it's different, you race differently and you enjoy it differently.
Basically, in BSB you could put your bollocks on the table, go racing and that's it, end of. I needed that, it helped me and it's helped me now. I loved that first win at Brands, it was great.
Many people saw the big jump from MotoGP to BSB as a step back, in the end though, even with the accident [at Donington Park], it was that that gave me the opportunity to get back to WSBK and ultimately to be on the Aprilia this year.
How do you feel now about your accident at Donington Park that year?
Obviously at the time, it was not nice but in the end it doesn't matter. It was not a good time because the injury was quite bad and you have all kinds of nasty thoughts about retiring and all sorts.
Obviously when your leg is hanging down the wrong way round, you know it's not going to be easy and all that confidence and work have disappeared in a flash and for a while you're going to be angry. Now it doesn't matter though, it's all behind me. I never think about it.
Did the subject of retiring never come up at home?
No, no, no. Motorcycling is just dangerous. Cycling is also dangerous as I found out two weeks ago! I did my shoulder, it's not nice, it's weak and painful and it's not fun riding a Superbike like that. The last word I had with my physio and surgeon is that it should heal without surgery, which would be fantastic.
Motorcycling is what I do though and is the only thing I know how to do, I never think of retiring.
Initially your results in WSBK can't have been what you were looking for?
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