Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 23 May 2015
World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli has said there is ‘no chance’ of retaining his title after a tough start to the season with PATA Honda.
Guintoli became the first World Champion to take the #1 plate to a new manufacturer this season, switching from Aprilia to Honda machinery.
However, the Frenchman has endured a tough start to the season. An injury sustained in a testing accident saw him miss most of the pre-season preparations, putting him on the back foot from the off.
Since then, things haven’t come together for the former MotoGP rider. In the first five rounds, his best finishes have been three fifth places.
“It has been tough, it’s been difficult” he said, speaking to Bike Social at Donington Park. “The results still aren’t coming and we haven’t been on the podium so in that respect it is tough, but we are all working hard to try and improve the performance and hopefully we can do that in the next few rounds.
“I don’t think the new rules are suiting our package. There is no one weak point that we’re working on to improve; we’re working over all areas to improve our speed. I thought the new rules would mean everyone was more level but some bikes seem to have dropped in performance and others don’t seem to have dropped anything.”
Naturally, the first goal for a World Champion is to retain their title. However, Sylvain says he knows that’s not going to happen this year.
“Any chance of retaining my title is now gone”, Guintoli said. “We have to be realistic. The best that can happen to us is that we manage to improve the speed and the pace and start to be more competitive. For now we are too far away.
“Some stuff we try is positive and at some tracks we have managed to be closer but at others it feels like we’re back at square one again. We sometimes manage to pull things out of the bag, in Imola I made a good comeback from all the way down the grid after a problem in qualifying so hopefully we can make that happen more often. Mixing with the front guys for us at the minute is a tough one.
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“I don’t know how far off we are either. We’ve got some updates coming and hopefully we will improve through the year, but I can’t say when or if we will. We have to take it race by race in this situation to try and work in the right direction. We don’t turn up to a track thinking we’re going to win, and that’s difficult for me.
“It doesn’t change my motivation; I love racing bikes no matter the result. I love trying to get the best out of a bike. It’s just a bit more fun when you can win!”