World Superbike star Sylvain Guintoli has been getting in a bit of winter training in the UK recently using his own Ducati road bike and a set of treaded Pirelli tyres.
The Team Effenbert Liberty rider, born in France but now living in the West Midlands with his British wife, decided to knock off a bit of the winter rust by getting out on track with his Ducati 1198SP road bike using Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres.
Having spent a year competing in the British Superbike Championship, Guintoli knows the UK tracks well and after braving a cold Snetterton in January, March saw him tackle Mallory and Oulton Park.
Unlike his WSBK race bike, Guintoli's 1198SP is still road legal and fitted with lights and indicators - not that he let it slow him down…
“I knew we wouldn't get much testing over winter with the Effenbert Liberty team so I thought I'd use my road bike for a few laps at UK tracks to keep my eye in and regain some bike fitness,” explained Guintoli. “I thought I might have been a bit optimistic with the English weather but I was very lucky; 12 degrees C in January!
“I couldn't believe how well the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC2 tyres worked – I was on my own road bike and at Mallory I was between 2-3 seconds off the lap record! They have a really fast warm-up time and kept the heat well, something that is very important in the cold weather.
“It was great fun doing these trackdays - obviously I was respectful to the other guys out there but I think some of the racers couldn't believe they were being overtaken by a road bike, maybe they felt better when they realised who it was!”
Guintoli, third in race one of the Australian season opener, will be back in WSBK action for round two at Imola this weekend.