Sylvain Guintoli says a podium finish in the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island was the ideal way to banish the memories of his damaging accident at the circuit twelve months ago.
Though he would eventually recover to a fine sixth place in the 2011 standings, Guintoli began his stint at Effenbert Liberty Ducati nursing a broken hand and foot after a high-speed crash in the first race of the season around the Australian circuit.
Nonetheless, Guintoli has enjoyed a strong return to Phillip Island, the Frenchman dicing with Marco Melandri and Tom Sykes in the first race to finish in third position, marking his fourth career WSBK podium finish.
Though a similar result went begging in the second race when he ran off the circuit and came off his 1098R, Guintoli was pleased to begin his season on a far more positive note than he did in 2011.
“After what happened to me here last year, this is the best reward I could get. It was hard work, but I'm very happy and would like to say thanks to the whole team.
“I was confident for another podium and as I was battling with Melandri, I went wide to avoid crashing but then on the field I wasn't able to handle the bike.”