Sylvain Guintoli has given his first impression of the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 after day one of a private test in Sepang and is keen to play an integral role in the development of the new challenger.

The 2014 World Superbike champion is set to return to the MCE British Superbike championship with Hawk Racing-run Bennetts Suzuki and has begun his first test with the Japanese manufacturer in Sepang alongside Rodger Hayden and Toni Elias from the MotoAmerica squad and Suzuki factory rider Nobuatsu Aoki.

The specification of Suzuki GSX-R1000 Guintoli has been testing in Malaysia is not within BSB rules but has provided the Frenchman with his first experience on the new bike having jumped at the opportunity after being invited by the factory.

"I think the bike is going to be a real weapon," Guintoli told "The first impression is very positive but we are going against strong competition so we will have to work hard. The initial first contact with the bike is very good.

"It is a great opportunity to come here because I know the place really well and it is one of the first public outing of the bike so it is good to be here. It is nice to have been invited by Suzuki and Yoshimura so I'm really happy. I was able to do quite a few laps today so it was good."

As well as becoming familiar with the new bike, Guintoli is also relishing the chance to return to track action after a long winter break as he begins preparations for a 2017 BSB title tilt.

"It is quite close [specification] but BSB has its own rules and electronics with the single ECU," he said. "We will do more laps here at Sepang, as the last time I raced was in Qatar, and hopefully I can bring some experience and input into the development of the bike.

"It is the very start so there is a lot to do. It is really interesting and exciting because it looks almost like the MotoGP bike!"

Additional reporting by Peter McLaren



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