Despite out-qualifying a myriad of more experienced riders, Sylvain Guintoli admits he was a little disappointed to miss out on the front row for the opening round of the World Superbike Championship in Australia.
The Frenchman makes his full-time WSBK debut this weekend for Suzuki and while team-mate Leon Haslam grabbed the headlines with his pole position, Guintoli generated his own publicity with an impressive run to fifth on the grid.
However, having missed out on third position by a mere four hundredths of a second, Guintoli couldn't help but be frustrated to get so close to making it two Suzuki Alstare riders on the front row.
“I thought I had done enough to get on the front row, but then I lost the position right at the end of final Superpole,” he said. “It's a bit disappointing because it would've been nice to be on the front row near my team mate and it would've been great for the team. But row two is OK and as long as I get good starts, I think I can get good results.”
Even so, Guintoli was full of praise for his bike and the Suzuki team and is now feeling buoyant ahead of the races.
“The important thing though is that I am really happy with the bike and how everything is going at the moment. I used race rubber in SP1 and than qualifying tyres in SP2 and SP3. I feel very comfortable on race tyres and I am enjoying myself here.
“Today we started with the same base set-up as yesterday and just made minor adjustments throughout the day. Also, I tried to improve the way I ride the bike and get more out of it, but I am just so happy at the moment and cannot wait for the races.”