Sylvain Guintoli says he cannot wait to get his first taste of Ducati Superbike machinery as he embarks on a new chapter of his career with the newly-formed Liberty Racing team.
The Frenchman completed his first full season in World Superbikes with Suzuki Alstare by claiming seventh position in the standings, though he would not be retained by the team following its decision to hire Michel Fabrizio.
Nonetheless, Guintoli is excited about the opportunity to join burgeoning Czech outfit Liberty Racing, where he will be racing a Ducati vee-twin alongside Jakub Smrz for the first time.
"I have never raced a big vee-twin Ducati before, although I have raced with the vee-four in MotoGP. I am looking forward to my first ride on the bike and we should get some good testing done before the start of the season, just after the New Year.
“I am taking my data technician with me from the Alstare team, but otherwise it will be an all-new experience for me. I have known Jakub for a long time of course, and we used to race in 250s together many years ago. We get on very well and I am looking forward to working with him."
Though hailing from France, Guintoli is considered an 'adopted' Englishman having lived in Leicestershire for several years. With his local circuit of Donington Park added to the calendar for 2011, Guintoli is looking forward to visiting three 'home' events next season, even if it will include a return to the circuit where he broke his leg in 2009.
“I heard about Donington joining Silverstone and that means two short commutes for me on those weekends, particularly for Donington. I have mixed feelings about it after my big crash there in BSB in 2009 of course, but the circuit has a fantastic layout and I always enjoy riding there."
Though he failed to finish on the podium in 2010, Guintoli made his mark by finishing each race, his disqualification from fifth at Magny-Cours excepted.