Fan favourite Sylvain Guintoli back with Suzuki for British MotoGP

2014 WorldSBK champion Sylvain Guintoli replaces Joan Mir on the Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR for the 2019 British MotoGP round at Silverstone

Sylvain Guintoli - Suzuki MotoGP

Sylvain Guintoli will make another MotoGP World Championship appearance on the Suzuki GSX-RR during this weekend’s British MotoGP at Silverstone in place of the injured Joan Mir.

The last person other than Jonathan Rea to win a World Superbike Championship title (in 2014), Frenchman Guintoli remains one of motorcycle racing’s most popular figures, especially in the UK where he resides and is also a familiar face in the British Superbike Championship paddock.

Despite his relatively recent success on the track, Guintoli – who won nine races in WorldSBK – focuses on development duties for the Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP project now and competes in the Endurance World Championship.

Even so, Guintoli is often credited as the ‘riding force’ behind Suzuki’s return to success over the past two seasons and often enjoys race outings, usually ahead of a post-event test as he did in Catalunya and Brno this year.

Joan Mir - ‘I have started to walk…’

Mir spent a week in hospital after crashing towards the end of the one-day test in the Czech Republic, the resulting fall seeing him roll through the gravel a number of times, causing a pulmonary contusion that required him to be airlifted to hospital.

Mir says he has ‘started to walk’ but is not fit enough to jump back on the Suzuki before Misano at the earliest.

“In the end I am not able to be in Silverstone for the next race and it is a real pity, but that’s how things are, and the first priority has to be my health. After the accident I spent several weeks resting, first in the hospital and then at home. 

“I have started to walk, but after the tests it seems that I am still not 100%, so the doctors have determined that it is better to continue with my rehabilitation. I will start doing some more training so I can get to the next race in better physical shape and not have to take too many risks. 

“I would like to thank the people who are beside me and taking care of me, my Suzuki team for their concern and the thousands of fans who have encouraged me during all these days and who have shown me an enormous affection. See you soon!"

'They were finding parts in the trees...'

No confirmation of what caused Mir’s accident has been officially communicated but it is understood a technical issue was the reason for the fall, which occurred at high-speed on the run down to turn one.

Such was the ferocity of the smash the bike vaulted the air fence and landed in the relief road, while there are claims Suzuki were finding parts of Mir’s GSX-RR in the trees such was the impact.