FIXI Crescent Suzuki has announced that Sylvain Guintoli will not ride for the team in the 2013 World Superbike Championship, despite a contract being in place for next season.
The Frenchman has been widely tipped to join Leon Camier in the team for next season, but while positive discussions during the final round of the season at Magny-Cours led to an agreement being put in place, FIXI Crescent says Guintoli has stalled on providing a full commitment.
Understood to have received an offer from a rival team, Guintoli's decision to consider the alternative option led to him deciding against joining the team for this week's Motorland Aragon test.
As such, a dismayed FIXI Crescent Suzuki team principal Paul Denning has subsequently annulled the contract.
“I am extremely disappointed and surprised by Sylvain's lack of integrity and total lack of respect for the mutual commitments made,” he said. “He is the last rider I would have expected to behave in such a way, especially as we have had a close professional and personal relationship previously.
“Our team has always tried to stand by the fundamental principle that you stick to what you've agreed to, and in the long run it's always been the best policy. Sylvain clearly doesn't feel the same way and is prepared to ignore a handshake, a gentleman's agreement and indeed a written contract – and that's a great shame.”
“Our energies are now focused on looking forward to the positive opportunities we have as a team in 2013.”
Though it isn't known which team is courting Guintoli for 2013, Aprilia and Ducati are rumoured to have made enquiries following the ex-MotoGP rider's strong race-winning end to the season.
Guintoli, who raced with Crescent Suzuki in the British Superbike Championship in 2009, will have his place in the team taken in the short-term by Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters, who will join Camier at the upcoming Motorland Aragon test.