Sylvain Guintoli says unlocking the true potential of the Bennetts Suzuki with its factory swingarm enabled him to charge to the front pack of the MCE British Superbike championship as he claimed his first win of 2017 and a maiden win for the new GSX-R1000 in the series.

The 2014 World Superbike champion has endured a difficult return to the BSB championship this year with the Hawk Racing-run squad but felt confident heading to a familiar circuit at Assen which could play to the strengths of the Suzuki Superbike package.

After narrowly missing out on the podium in race one at the Dutch circuit, Guintoli measured his race pace for a late charge to the front to build a useful margin on Josh Brookes, Leon Haslam, James Ellison and Shane Byrne with two laps to go to secure his first BSB since the 2009 season opener - Guintoli's first win in any series since 2014 when he sealed the World Superbike title in Qatar.

The French rider, who has also been a key member for Suzuki’s MotoGP testing programme this year, is thrilled to return to winning ways with his victory being fair reward for a tough year developing the GSX-R1000 in BSB.

“The whole package has started to work now we have got since Oulton Park the factory swing arm back,” Guintoli said. “I liked it at the start of the season and then we went back to the standard one and now this is starting to work better and we are understanding it better.

“We have got a strong engine and here we found some good balance and it is great to be back on the top step of the podium and fighting with the boys.

“It has been difficult this season, obviously, I had expectation and everyone had expectations but it is not easy as the level here is very high and the boys here are very quick with a lot of experience.

“It is the first new Suzuki victory in BSB and for us it has been difficult, the championship is very competitive and there are strong riders with strong bikes. The bike has got strong points and we saw that.”

 

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