PATA Yamaha rider Sylvain Guintoli has revealed that he is looking to finish in the top five in the upcoming World Superbike season.
Guintoli, who was crowned World Superbike champion in 2014, had a solid season this year, finishing sixth on the WSBK Championship standings. However, the 33-year-old only managed one third place finish throughout the season, which came in race one at Magny-Cours.
Nevertheless, Guintoli is hoping to bounce back next season and record podium finishes on a more consistent basis.
“Frankly, I have no idea. Given the fact it’s a completely new motorcycle, to finish in the top five would be a fantastic result, but I have the feeling that we can do much better than that,” he told Motorsport.com.
Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea dominated this year’s World Superbike season as he came first in 14 of the 26 races. However, Guintoli believes that Yamaha will be a lot more competitive this season, especially after he tested out the YZF-R1.
“What I can say is that the basic version of the Yamaha YZF-R1 is already fantastic,” he said. “During the first tests, our lap times were faster than what we expected, but we still have much to improve. It’s very important not to underestimate our opponents.”
But, Guintoli admitted that he still needs to work on the chassis and rider positioning prior to the start of the upcoming season.
“In testing, our attention was focused on electronics, the power of the engine and its distribution,” he said. “We also plan to work on the chassis, even though it’s already very good, and rider positioning.”