MotorSport Vision press release:
Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Camier took the victories in the opening round of the ViSK British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch but it was the Frenchman, making his debut into the series who took the lead, by seven points, in the title stakes.
Guintoli had not a raced a Superbike before, but he had shown the speed and style that had seen him build up a pedigree of 118 grand prix starts by claiming pole position at the first attempt, though he made a sluggish get-away that left him playing catch-up in the opener.
Stuart Easton made the early running in a race that was neutralised for four laps early on to enable marshals to clear the tangle at Clearways involving Matt Bond and Tom Tunstall. Then Glen Richards took the lead before his HM Plant Honda team-mate Steve Plater moved out front.
But at half distance, Plater slid out and Guintoli was in the right place at the right time to grab the lead and once ahead Guintoli powered a couple of seconds clear on his Worx Suzuki to take the victory.
“My start was really bad, but that made it into a very good race. It is good to have a fight like that, and to have a lot of fun in a race and for that I have to thank the team who have worked so hard to give me a great bike,” explained Guintoli.
Richards took second ahead of Easton with Leon Camier running fourth but intent on better things next time out as he fought his way through from sixth place on the opening lap which was led by Easton from Karl Harris and Plater.
Camier was on the ascendancy while out front Easton was coming under pressure from Plater. Camier moved his Airwaves Yamaha second on the twelfth lap at the expense of Plater and finally overcame the determined Easton at two thirds distance.
“Six days ago we did not have a bike, and I did not ride it until first practice here on Friday, but straightaway I knew that we were not a million miles away,” explained Camier. “The team have kept me positive throughout.”
Guintoli was on the charge, cutting through to take second place, and with it the lead in 45-38 over Camier in the overall standings, while Plater, who had finished second to Billy McConnell in the Fuchs Silkolene British Supersport race minutes before the start of the second Superbike encounter rode into third place.
Gary Mason, with sixth and ninth place overall finishes, won both of the Mirror.co.uk Cup races aboard his Quay Garage Honda with Martin Jessopp aboard the Riders Honda second in each. Peter Hickman took a pair of thirds for the Ultimate Racing Yamaha team.
ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli
Race one – 30 laps
1. Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 24m 27.117secs
2. Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) +0.952s
3. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +3.086s
4. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) +7.007s
5. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +7.814s
6. Gary Mason (Quay Garage Honda) +8.505s
7. Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +9.359s
8. Jason O’Halloran (SMT Honda) +9.639s
9. Graeme Gowland (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +10.549s
10. Tristan Palmer (Buildbase Kawasaki) +16.181s
Race two – 30 laps
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 23m 25.330secs
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +2.319s
3. Steve Plater (HM Plant Honda) +3.347s
4. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +3.772s
5. Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) +3.915s
6. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +11.121s
7. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +11.531s
8. Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +11.826s
9. Gary Mason (Quay Garage Honda) +12.968s
10. Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +14.641s
1 Sylvain Guintoli 45pts
2 Leon Camier 38
3 Glen Richards 31
4 Stuart Easton 29
5 James Ellison 20
6 Gary Mason 17
7 Steve Plater 16
8 Simon Andrews 14
9 Jason O’Halloran 12
10 Julien da Costa 11
Next round – Oulton Park – 2/3/4 May