Some more controversy is brooding for World Superbike rider Sylvain Guintoli, as Paul Denning and the FIXI Crescent Suzuki have slammed the British-living French-born rider for backing out of his 2013 commitments with the team. Issuing a statement to the press, Crescent Suzuki states that Guintoli and the team came to a “full and final agreement” at Magny-Cours, which was singed by the Frenchman.
According to Crescent Suzuki, Guinters made significant steps with the team to test at Aragaon starting today, but since that agreement, Guintoli has informed the team that he has to back out of his testing obligation in order to consider a new offer from a rival team. That rival team is heavily rumored to be Aprilia Racing, which may be scrambling to find a replacement rider for the still undecided Max Biaggi, the now-current World Superbike Champion.
For devout WSBK fans, the statements from FIXI Crescent Suzuki sound similar to those made by Liberty Racing, when the Czech team let Guintoli go mid-season, citing a number of reasons, including the Frenchman’s on-track results. Starting strong early on, Liberty Racing’s swan song started at Monza, and ultimately saw the team release its riders one-by-one, before finally missing the last race at Magny-Cours altogether.
For added Drama Llama, the press statement from FIXI Crescent Suzuki and Paul Denning is after the jump.
Following recent media coverage regarding FIXI Crescent Suzuki and Sylvain Guintoli’s 2013 plans, the UK-based Suzuki World Superbike team would like to make the following statement.
Crescent came to a full and final agreement with Guintoli for him to join the team for 2013 on a one-year contract. After detailed discussion and amendments, the contract was signed at Magny-Cours by Guintoli and Team Principal Paul Denning. Guintoli made a lengthy and positive press interview regarding his decision to join the FIXI Crescent Suzuki squad, and engaged in a detailed meeting with Crescent’s engineers regarding bike set-up and specific test items for the Aragon test starting today (Monday 15th October).
Despite this clear and obvious commitment, Crescent now understands that Guintoli has since received an alternative offer from a rival manufacturer. He has told Crescent that he wants to consider this offer in detail and that he is now unable to commit to the Aragon test or to the agreement made with Crescent. Despite the obvious turmoil and potential damages created by these actions, Crescent has taken the decision to move forward and to simply release Guintoli from any obligations for the forthcoming season.
Following these developments, FIXI Crescent Suzuki and the newly re-signed Leon Camier will now be joined at this week’s World Superbike test at Aragon in Spain by Suzuki’s Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters.
The 25-year-old Australian from Mildura in the state of Victoria wrapped up his second Australian Superbike Championship this season – a title he’d also won in 2009 – and will make his debut for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team in Spain during the three–day test.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will assess its rider options over the next few days, and will naturally be considering Waters as a candidate following the test, which will allow both team and rider to have a closer understanding of the mutual potential.
Paul Denning – Team Principal:
“I am extremely disappointed and surprised by Sylvain’s lack of integrity and total lack of respect for the mutual commitments made. He is the last rider I would have expected to behave in such a way, especially as we have had a close professional and personal relationship previously. Our team has always tried to stand by the fundamental principle that you stick to what you’ve agreed to, and in the long run it’s always been the best policy. Sylvain clearly doesn’t feel the same way and is prepared to ignore a handshake, a gentleman’s agreement and indeed a written contract – and that’s a great shame.
“Our energies are now focused on looking forward to the positive opportunities we have as a team in 2013. We are delighted that Josh has been able to join us on such short notice to help us with our plans for next season – he’s had a very strong season with the Suzuki Australian Superbike team and he performed brilliantly for our partners, Yoshimura, in the Suzuka 8-Hour race. I am sure he will settle in with the crew quickly and we’re all looking forward to seeing how he goes! ”
Source: FIXI Crescent Suzuki; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved