Suzuki gifts unsung MotoGP hero Sylvain Guintoli a one-of-a-kind Hayabusa

Suzuki says 'arigato gozaimasu' to its MotoGP development rider and Endurance World Champion Sylvain Guintoli with a special high-speed gift...


Amid all of the hubbub and drama of Suzuki confirming it will shutter its motorsport programme at the end of the 2022 MotoGP season, it’s easy to forget the scores of people - from riders to mechanics to personnel - who are facing up to being unemployed in a few months.

Indeed, the abrupt nature of the decision and the curt communication delivered by Suzuki top brass to its employees competing in both MotoGP and the Endurance World Championship has come in for plenty of criticism, attention is now shifting towards ending those respective seasons on a high.

For ex-MotoGP, WorldSBK and BSB rider Sylvain Guintoli, however, the manufacturer’s exit from motorsport will see him out of two high-profile roles representing the brand having led development on the Suzuki GSX-RR in MotoGP and raced with Yoshimura SERT in EWC.

So in an act of gratitude (and possibly contrition) Suzuki has gifted Guintoli with his own one-of-a-kind edition of the Suzuki Hayabusa.

Revealed to him during a presentation at Donington Park, the Hayabusa is recognisable with its red, blue and black livery imitating the Gixxer Guintoli races in EWC.

Suzuki's other World Champion

While Sylvain Guintoli isn’t as ubiquitous on the racing scene as he was during his days competing in MotoGP and WorldSBK, he is renowned as one of the sport’s most effective and sought after development riders.

Considered the ‘unsung hero’ of Suzuki’s shock run to the 2020 MotoGP World Championship title with Joan Mir, Guintoli’s experience and input in developing the GSX-RR is often credited as a pivotal factor in the firm’s return to prominence at MotoGP level.

He is also a two-time World Champion having won the 2014 WorldSBK Championship with Aprilia before going on to help Yoshimura SERT defend its EWC title in 2021 alongside Xavier Simeon and Gregg Black.