Fresh from helping Suzuki win the 2020 MotoGP riders' and teams' world championships through his development work as test rider for the GSX-RR, Sylvain Guintoli will be chasing a second FIM world title of his own this season.

The 2014 World Superbike champion has been announced as part of the restructured Yoshimura SERT Motul team, defending champions of the World Endurance Championship.

Guintoli, 38 has made occasional World Endurance appearances in the past but will now campaign the full 2021 season alongside fellow former MotoGP rider Xavier Simeon, plus Kazuki Watanabe and Gregg Black.

The Frenchman will also continue his Suzuki MotoGP testing duties.

“This new challenge is very exciting," said Guintoli, whose last complete world championship season was WorldSBK in 2015. "I have raced with Team SERT in the past [Doha 8 Hours] and on three occasions with Team Yoshimura [Suzuka 8 Hours] so this feels amazing to be able to challenge all-together for the full Endurance World Championship.”

Guintoli won the 2010 Doha 8 Hours as part of the SERT team and has finished seventh (2017), tenth (2018) and fifth (2019) during his Suzuka appearances for Yoshimura.

Covid restrictions permitting, Yoshimura SERT will start their title defence at the Le Mans 24 Heures Motos on April 17-18 before moving to Oschersleben in May, Suzuka in July, back to France for the Bol d'Or in September and then a season finale at Estoril on October 16

Guintoli made ten MotoGP wild-card and replacement starts for Suzuki between 2017-2019 (best finish of twelfth) before the special Covid protocol excluded wild-cards in 2020. 

It is hoped that the wild-card ban will be lifted for 2021 (it depends on if MotoGP allows more people in the paddock this year), meaning Guintoli would again be eligible for up to three GSX-RR race appearances alongside his testing duties, which are now due to begin with the Qatar Shakedown test in early March.