2014 World Superbike champion Sylvain Guintoli will make his series return for the final two rounds of the season with Puccetti Kawasaki, as he aims to firm up plans for 2018.

The French rider has recently completed his 2017 campaign in the MCE British Superbike championship where he finished 13th in the final riders’ standings for Bennetts Suzuki. Guintoli, who has also acted as replacement rider for the Suzuki MotoGP team this year, has secured a deal for a two-round outing with Puccetti Kawasaki at Jerez and Losail to mark his comeback to World Superbikes.

“I am very happy to be back in the FIM Superbike World Championship for the last two rounds of the season,” Guintoli said. “Jerez and Doha are fantastic race tracks and I have many memories related to these layouts.

“I can’t wait to try the ZX-10RR machine and I would like to thank both Manuel [Puccetti] and Kawasaki for this great opportunity.”

Puccetti has welcomed Guintoli with open arms for the final two rounds as his team sees its fourth rider of the year in the Superbike class. Randy Krummenacher started the year for Puccetti Kawasaki, and was joined by Leon Haslam as a wildcard at Donington Park, before the Swiss rider was forced out by injury and was replaced by Anthony West for Portimao and Magny-Cours.

“We are really happy to have a top rider as Sylvain on our bike for the final stages of the season,” Puccetti said. “Guintoli is a strong rider with a great experience as he was riding in MotoGP for many years. We hope that the team will grow even more thanks to his work.”

Guintoli is rumoured to be in the frame for a full-time switch to Puccetti Kawasaki for 2018 alongside its European Superstock 1000 rider Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Puccetti Kawasaki’s World Supersport squad also has an all-new rider line-up for Jerez with West switching to the 600cc class as Kyle Ryde’s replacement, while Axel Bassani has become a last-minute call-up after Haslam was ruled out by injury to become Kenan Sofuoglu’s replacement.

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