Former Worx Suzuki British Superbike rider Sylvain Guintoli will make his World Superbike debut at Portimao this weekend just a week after the screws holding his injured leg together were removed.
The French former MotoGP rider, who was hurt in a crash at Donington Park earlier this year, will ride the Alstare Suzuki for the first time on Friday and then take part in post-race tests on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"It’s hard to describe my feelings about racing for a factory team like Suzuki Alstare next weekend. Originally, I thought that I would be carrying on with Suzuki in the British Championship, but then an offer came along, at the last minute, for me to race in the Superbike World Championship and I just couldn’t say no," saidf Guintoli
"It is a fantastic opportunity and I would like to thank Francis (Batta), Suzuki Japan, Suzuki GB and all concerned for giving this great chance. I have seen on TV how competitive World Superbikes is and I am really looking forward to this challenge. The series is exciting and very tough and I think it is going to be a big, but wonderful challenge, for us all.
"I have never ridden at Portimao before, but I know that it is quite technical and there are many changes of elevation and lots of blind corners. That means that I will have to start off by learning which way the track goes and take my time getting to know that and my new team.
"The good thing is that I am under no pressure in Portimao and will be able to use the weekend to get to know the bike and the team before getting down to the hard work in the winter tests. I am going to do my best, of course, but I hope I can get on with the bike and the team quickly and also have some fun."