Der Franzose Sylvain Guintoli ist seit über 15 Jahren Profi-Rennfahrer. Er war fünf Saisons in der 250er WM auf Aprilias unterwegs, danach in der MotoGP-Klasse für Yamaha (im Dunlop-Team) und für Alice und Pramac auf Ducatis. In der Superbike-WM pilotierte er anschließend Motorräder Suzuki, Ducati, Aprilia, Honda und Yamaha. 2014 eroberte er die Superbike-WM-Krone, derzeit ist er für das Bennetts-Suzuki Team in der Britischen Superbike-Championship unterwegs. Wenn so ein Kaliber für den verletzten Alex Rins drei Rennen lang als Vertretung auf der Werks-Suzuki GSX-RR einspringt und darüber erzählt, wird es interessant. Deswegen hier seine Eindrücke als Ersatzfahrer im Suzuki-Ecstar-Team, der Orginalität halber im englischen Wortlaut:
First of all I would like to thank everyone at Team SUZUKI ECSTAR for the opportunity to ride one of the fastest bikes in the world. It’s never great to have to substitute an injured rider like Alex Rins, but it was great to have the opportunity. It’s like a dream to be able to ride this kind of bike. It’s awe-inspiring and was a great experience. It has been very special, and it was like this from the beginning because I was able to jump on one of the world’s most exuberant, fast-paced, and amazing motorcycles. It’s like a Supercar on the road. You have carbon brakes and an incredible engine; everything is amazing. Even before getting on the bike my heart beat would increase by more than 30 beats a minute.
One of the most surprising things was the level of professionalism of the team. There are so many people all around who are skilled and prepared. They try to make you the best, to give you all their best. They are dedicated to giving you the greatest bike possible and helping you to perform optimally. Loads of people are there to help you and show you the most efficient way of working. It has been amazing to work with such an excellent team.
While riding, the first thing that hits you is the power – soft in delivery, but lots of power and you can feel it. The second stunning thing is the way the bike is able to change direction. It seems very light, as if it does not have much weight. It is impossible to imagine in a standard bike or even in Superbikes. It is very impressive. The third thing that caught my attention in this (GSX-RR) machine was the carbon brakes. You need to hold the brake tightly to raise the temperature. The braking-power is truly incredible; you can really brake hard until the last second, compared to Superbikes.
Learning how to ride the bike and get it going faster and faster is another important factor, learning to tilt so much again. It seems like you are always on the lean and it often feels like you can lean just a little bit more. Leaning with a MotoGP bike is unbelievable and absolutely electrifying.
Another interesting thing I had never tried before was the test with the wings integrated in the fairing. The effect in terms of aerodynamics is actually massive. I didn’t think it was going to have much effect on the bike. It was really incredible. It had some plus and minuses. A bike is different from a car because you can improve the handling of the bike in fast corners. You can reduce the capacity to do a wheelie… it’s really interesting, it was fun and I really learnt from that.
In summary the whole experience was terrific for me and these three races and the test made me really feel like a young rider again!