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WSBK Assen, Netherlands: Guintoli's tyre gamble fails to pay off

Sylvain Guintoli has endured an underwhelming race weekend at Assen which ended in race two after a tyre gamble wrecked his chances.
Sylvain Guintoli has endured an underwhelming race weekend at Assen which ended in race two after a tyre gamble wrecked his chances losing too much time on the cold intermediates at the start.

After suffering an uncharacteristic tumble out of race one having qualified second on the grid in Assen, the 2014 World Superbike champion was keen to make up lost ground and after a sudden rain downpour midway through the earlier World Supersport race on Sunday it left the track wet but drying on the grid for race two.

Guintoli was one of only two riders (Reiterberger the other) to take the gamble with an intermediate rear tyre at the start in the hope the track would dry quickly and swing conditions in his favour. Despite the high winds the track remained cold and wet for longer which meant the French rider couldn't get heat into his Pirelli and consequently slid backwards through the order.

Having lost so much time to his rivals Guintoli sacrificed his pit stop to finish the race on the intermediates to claim a lowly 11th place.

"The conditions were really changeable for today's race,” Guintoli said. “I thought the track would dry a lot quicker than it did, because normally it dries really fast here, so I thought the intermediate would be good for the first lap, but it didn't so I struggled.

“The plan was to have a good performance with the intermediates from the start and then swap to slicks, but unfortunately for the first five minutes of the race I lost a big, big amount of time and I could not get any heat in the rear tyres. This meant I had to change my strategy because we had lost so much time and I just couldn't afford to pit. It was a struggle and unfortunately it was a gamble that just didn't pay off."

The mix of conditions prevented the Crescent Pata Yamaha squad from fully demonstrating its gains with its tyre management at Assen and will be hoping to fight back at Imola in two weeks time.



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