Sylvain Guintoli will have duel riding commitments in 2021, as he continues his productive role as Suzuki's official MotoGP test rider along with competing in the FIM World Endurance Championship with SERT Suzuki. 

The French rider has already been in action for the 2020 champions at the ongoing MotoGP test in Qatar. Guintoli will have various tests throughout the season, but like in 2020, will be without any wildcard appearances. 

His last race appearance in MotoGP came back in 2019 when he was a wildcard at four rounds. In those races, Guintoli claimed two points scoring finishes and two 20th place results. 

This season Guintoli will continue his role of riding for Suzuki in the World Endurance Championship, but without any MotoGP wildcards scheduled, it means he will compete full-time in the series to compensate. 

With the first official day of testing in Qatar complete, Guintoli shared his thoughts on his role for 2021 by saying: "Yeah, the endurance thing was always there because I’ve been doing the eight-hour Suzuka race since I joined Suzuki MotoGP project.

"Then Suzuki, Yoshimura, and SERT decided to go together and do the full championship, so it’s basically just an extension of what I was doing. It’s just fantastic to get this feeling because I love racing. I love riding.

"The MotoGP project is really interesting. I can do a few wildcards and stuff, but not doing the full season and even though it's very, very difficult to be competitive in this championship with all these guys. So endurance for me is a great way to still enjoy racing, still enjoy fighting in the races and maybe win a few. 

"The SERT team and Yoshimura Suzuki, are putting a real big effort to keep the crown, to improve the performance. So that’s another interesting project.

"I hope that this year we can go ahead doing all the races. 24 hours, that’s going to be a big challenge. I’ve never done 24 hours. I think the four o’clock in the morning relay is going to be painful."

One of the big changes at Suzuki this year is the departure of former team boss Davide Brivio. The new Alpine F1 CEO had been managing race winning team since the 1990s and will be a big loss to the Japanese manufacturer. 

Guintoli and Brivio had been working together for several years, and while the French rider is sad to see his former boss leave, the structure at the Hammatsu team he believes will help compensate for it. "For sure Davide’s departure was not good news, initially," said Guintoli.

"He’s done a great job for the whole team. But saying that, I think that the decision to use the existing strength of the team, the existing men that have been there in the project since the start, is the right decision, definitely.

"I think we don’t really want to alter the spirit of the work ethic. You don’t want to throw spanners in something that is working well. So I think that’s definitely the best decision.

"I 100% agree with it. It’s a big gap to fill, but there is very strong men and women in this team that can take it on, I’m sure." 

 

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