Suzuki has confirmed it is promoting Sylvain Guintoli to its World Superbike line-up in 2010 as a replacement for Max Neukirchner, while Yukio Kagayama will make a British Superbike return.

Coming hot on the heels of the announcement that the Alstare team has parted ways with Neukirchner, Suzuki has revealed that Guintoli has been snapped up as his replacement following a promising first season at Superbike level.

The Frenchman, a former MotoGP rider, had originally re-signed with the Worx Crescent Suzuki team for 2010, but was offered the opportunity to go to the world championship when a seat recently became available.

A winner on his Superbike debut at Brands Hatch, Guintoli was sidelined for several months following an accident that left him with a broken leg. Despite this, he recovered to eighth position in the overall BSB standings, a performance that has been rewarded with an early progression to the international stage.

"Sylvain already knows about the Suzuki GSX-R and Pirelli tyres and his professionalism and motivation for this new challenge are positive factors for us to start working together straight away," said team manager Francis Batta.

"We at Team Suzuki Alstare are also very happy to welcome a British rider. The Suzuki UK distributor has always given great support to Team Suzuki Alstare and all of us are delighted to have signed Leon Haslam for the 2010 World Superbike Championship."

Coming in the other direction, Kagayama will return to the British Superbike Championship in 2010 [see separate story], while Leon Haslam will ride alongside Guintoli [see separate story].