Sylvain Guintoli has taken a long-awaited first World Superbike Championship podium at Miller Motorsports Park in a performance he insists is indicative of him being back to full fitness.
The Frenchman came into the year as one of the pre-season pace setters, but a high-speed crash at the Phillip Island season opener necessitated a laborious road to recovery, during which Guintoli has focused on keeping the points' ticking over.
Nonetheless, having now fully recovered from his ailments, Guintoli was in impressive form throughout the Miller Motorsports Park weekend, qualifying in fifth position and challenging for a podium from the start.
Though he was denied second by his Effenbert-Liberty Ducati team-mate Jakub Smrz, Guintoli crossed the line third to enjoy his time on the podium
“I am delighted to have achieved the first podium of my career in Superbikes, I am very happy to have achieved it with this bike and with this team,” he said. “I could have achieved it earlier if I hadn't suffered that big crash in Australia, which has influenced my results for some races .
“Now my physical condition is almost optimal and the results can be seen immediately. I thank everyone for their excellent work.”
While grip woes left him seventh in the second race, Guintoli was pleased with his breakthrough results and is now targeting better come Misano.
“I am sorry for not being able to go faster in race two, but it also happened to Jakub, with the rear tyre giving me the feeling of having less grip. I expect interesting performances for the forthcoming races, starting already from Misano, a circuit which definitely suites our bike.”
Guintoli's performance lifts him from 16th to tenth place in the WSBK standings.