Sylvain Guintoli says his final round with the Pata Honda squad encapsulated his entire season with many positives and negatives but says he is leaving the team on good terms.
The former World Superbike title winner is set to switch to Crescent Racing with the return of Yamaha to the championship in 2016 and leaves Ronald ten Kate's Honda squad after one year after struggling to turn the CBR1000RR into a race-winning package.
The French rider says a difficult campaign was summarised in the last round of the season at Qatar. After suffering technical problems during free practice and qualifying Guintoli was forced to start a lowly 13th on the grid but was able to battle back to take 10th in race one and 5th in race two.
“The weekend has been a reflection of the whole season really, we've had some good moments but some struggles too,” Guintoli said. In the end we stuck together as a team and worked really hard on three sides – the team, Honda and myself – and I'm happy with that. It was a tough last weekend but there were definitely some positives.”
The dethroned champion has ended his year with PATA Honda sixth in the riders' standings having graced the rostrum just once all year, in race one at Mangy-Cours. Despite the lack of fight at the front Guintoli has been remarkably consistent in 2015 by suffering only three retirements in 26 races, with his lowest classification finish 10th place.
Guintoli will now join up with the new Crescent Yamaha squad and team-mate British rider Alex Lowes as it prepares for the 2016 World Superbike championship, with former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden coming in to take his place as Michael van der Mark's team-mate.