Sylvain Guintoli believes he is on the cusp of becoming a 'better Superbike rider' after enjoying his most competitive world championship outing since the season opener.
The Frenchman joined Suzuki Alstare team-mate in sprinting out of the blocks at Phillip Island with a run to fourth and sixth, but while he has scored in every single race this season, he is yet to replicate the same kind of form heading into Misano.
Nonetheless, having been buoyed by a recent test at the Italian circuit prior to the WSBK event, Guintoli proved as competitive as title contending team-mate Leon Haslam throughout the weekend, the former MotoGP rider proceeding to finish fifth and sixth.
While the results don't quite build on his current 11th in the standings, Guintoli was pleased with his performance, suggesting he is now feeling comfortable on the GSX-R1000, a year and a half after making his Superbike debut in the UK.
“This has been a pretty good weekend for me and I feel I am now becoming a better Superbike rider,” he said. “This championship is so competitive that you have to be right on your game in every practice, qualifying and race and it's not something that comes easily - it requires a lot of work, from me and the team.
“That's not say that we have not been working hard up to now, because we have been working hard. It's just that WSBK is different to BSB and I have to work in a different way.
“I had a better feeling with the bike in race one, but funnily enough my lap times were better in race two! The good news though, is that I had the podium pace and I really enjoyed my racing.
“Now, I just need to keep this feeling up and be even more competitive next time. Next up is Brno. It is a track I know and like a lot, so I am expecting a lot.”