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

  • Josh eurosports

    Guinters is a talent for sure….while his move is less then that of a stand up guy ( he is French after all ) one can hardly blame him for getting as far away from that crap Suzuki and on to anything else, especially if that something else is Max’s Aprillia!! I’m sure his agreement to ride the most undeveloped bike on the grid was solely down to the lack of a better offer at the time…motogp isn’t the only series where a good ride is hard to come by.

  • (he is French after all) That was cold. LMAO….

  • Andrew

    The deal with Aprilia (if that’s what it is) might well fall through because if this has anything to do with Biaggi it is very possible he will change his mind at the last moment, or the team is just looking for another rider as an insurance/bargaining tool for their negotiations with Biaggi.

    Usually I like Guintoli, but if he ends up with no ride at all it will serve him right after he pulled this move!

  • SBPilot

    I’m surprised that there wasn’t even an article on Max winning the title by .5 of a point, but then to write something about Guintoli dropping Fixi Suzuki’s offer? I’m confused.

    Anyway, as previously stated, if Max’s Aprilia has been offered to Guintoli than you can’t blame him for dropping the arguably worst bike for arguably the best bike. But if Guintoli doesn’t get a better ride than the Fixi Suzuki (it was looking better with Camier in the last few rounds), then no one will feel sorry for him.

  • Bring Mladin in to test the bike and advise on changes for it. Maybe even get him racing on it. Now that would be interesting.

  • Halfie 30

    How did Mladin come up? He had his chance at World Superbikes and was an also round…. Get a grip on reality.

  • Damo

    I would be happier seeing Guinters on anything but the Suzuki, so I am O.K. with this news.

  • paulus

    A contract is a contract… Guintoli made an agreement.
    Money was spent and decisions made upon this.

    If the tables were reversed and Crescent Suzuki wanted to cancel… I am sure he would not be so amicable.

    I hope that Max stays and hope Guintoli loses a ride for 2013.

  • alex

    Sorry but this is all incredibly one sided. While the team has the need to slam the rider. The rider would be foolish to slam the team. Aprilla and there management are probably well aware of the riders choice in this matter which probably has at least in part with either Crescents lack of development, results or actual commitment to the rider.

    It’s hard for anyone whose not been a professional racer to understand the difference between a teams stated goals and there actions towards them. But firsthand experience has taught me that even the best of teams can let down there riders either through management or a lack of cohesiveness or planning.

  • paulus

    What opportunity for a lack of action by Crescent?… the contract is barely a couple of weeks old.
    The rider gets a better offer…. “I am off, Crescent”.

    The whole purpose of the contract is an agreement by both sides. Guintoli did not honour his.
    He signed, he should honour it.

    No class

  • alex

    Contracts arent one sided things and have performance or deadline clauses for both teams – also and more importantly without a contract most aspects of a professional teams operations are withheld.

    If you’ve ever worked for a company you have likely seen things that stick out as obviously wrong sometimes right away. And with motorcycle or any other racing there is a need to be extremely precise in numerous ways from logistics to testing to scheduling.

    All of that is likely withheld from the rider beforehand.

    Sometimes things change like with Rossi at Yamaha after he injured his shoulder and the team momentum switched to Jorge. That all happened fairly quickly. And the 7 time world champ was unusually for a seasoned pro quite vocal about the situation.

  • alex

    The public only sees the face of it – they don’t see teams failures. It’s possible Crescent promised a new more competitive package and through delays, resources or team planning changed that.

    This is likely what happened with Rossi at Ducati

  • gsp75

    @patrick, i totally agree !!!!

    @Halfie 30 , Im pretty sure Mat never did WSBK but he did test the Yosh Suzuki @ Philip Island while WSBK was there and he did SMOKE them all !!! Especially Troy Corser fellow Australian who was on the Alstare Suzuki