Sylvain Guintoli says he has had little difficulty getting to grips with the 'efficient' Aprilia RSV4 as he prepares for his first World Superbike Championship season with the Italian marque.
After much rumour and speculation, Guintoli was eventually revealed as the replacement for outgoing champion Max Biaggi at Aprilia in a deal that will see him join Eugene Laverty in the two-time title winning team.
Having had his first taste of RSV4 machinery during a post-season test at Jerez, Guintoli is excited about the year ahead on a bike that described as both 'efficient' and 'amusing'.
“The bike and I clicked after only a few laps,” he said. “The RSV4 Factory is the most powerful superbike I ever rode but the controls are astonishing. Basically, it's a very efficient bike. Efficiency is easier to be transformed into good lap times. The RSV4 Factory is also the most amusing bike, a lot of fun to ride!”
“I am very excited about starting the 2013 season with Aprilia Racing. The first contact with the RSV4 Factory and crew in Jerez was fantastic and made me understand how much potential the team has. We understood each other straight the way, in English, in Italian, and sometimes just by pulling faces!”
One of the most popular riders in the paddock, three-time race winner Guintoli comes to Aprilia after three seasons spent riding Suzuki (2010) and Ducati machinery (2011, 2012).
Looking ahead to the new season, though Guintoli doesn't explicitly state that he is aiming for the 2013 WSBK title, he is confident he will be a contender so long as he achieves his aim of wins and podiums.
“I want to win races and be on the podium as often as possible. As the Queen would say: If one manages this, one will lift the big trophy in the end..!”