MotorSport Vision press release:
Sylvain Guintoli has marked his debut into the ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli at Brands Hatch by powering his Worx Crescent Suzuki onto pole start for the Easter Monday opening round.
The 26 year old Frenchman was well on the pace throughout the three phase F1 style Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole grid decider, which he was experiencing for the first time, but he saved the best for last, putting in a superb time of 45.944secs to finally put top spot out of reach of Steve Plater, riding the HM Plant Honda.
“I can’t remember the last time I started from pole so this is just fantastic,” enthused Guintoli. “I made some small mistakes, but still came out on top, so yes, this is a good feeling, but now I have it all to do in the races.
“We worked hard to get a good base setting for the bike and it all felt good, and now I hope the omens are good for the races. For me, it is very important that I start the championship well but it will be tough, there are many good riders here,” added Guintoli.
Plater, shaping up well for a busy day at the races, having already secured a front row start in the Fuchs Silkolene British Supersport race, battled back into contention after taking a tumble in the first element of the grid decider.
“It was a schoolboy error. I wasn’t pushing as hard as I had before, but I just tipped off. I was able to get the bike back and the team worked hard to get me back out in just seven minutes which was obviously hard work for them,” explained Plater who is deputising for the team’s absent Australian Josh Brookes who is experiencing UK entry visa problems.
Plater had lapped in 46.065secs, marginally faster than the Hydrex Honda duo of Stuart Easton and Karl Harris who completed the front row at the expence of Airwaves Yamaha rider Leon Camier who had set the early pace.
“I can’t be too unhappy about that, although I wanted better,” said Camier. “I hadn’t thrown my leg over the bike till Friday and set an early target of a top ten placing.”
Glen Richards, riding the second HM Plant Honda, ran sixth, ahead of James Ellison, riding Airwaves Yamaha, and the Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha rider Graeme Gowland who was looking good at the start of his ‘rookie’ term.
Chris Walker, Jon Kirkham and John Laverty lined up on the third row which was completed by the fastest of the Mirror.co.uk Cup riders Gary Mason, aboard the Quay Garage Honda, with a time of 46.694secs.
Tom Tunstall, riding the Hardinge Doodson Honda, was next up in the category for Privateers, lapping in 46.917secs, a third of a second faster than Martin Jessopp and Alastair Fagan.
Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole – top ten qualifiers:
1. Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 45.944s
2. Steve Plater (HM Plant Honda) +0.121s
3. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +0.165s
4. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +0.302s
5. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) +0.315s
6. Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) +0.334s
7. James Ellison Airwaves Yamaha +0.477s
8. Graeme Gowland (Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha) +0.524s
9. Chris Walker (Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha) +0.531s
10. Jon Kirkham (Jentin Racing Yamaha) +0.686s