The 2014 World Superbike champion Sylvain Guintoli has signed an agreement to ride for the Pata Honda team alongside Michael van der Mark in the 2015 championship aboard Honda‰Ûªs CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine.
Guintoli is one of the most widely experienced riders in the World Superbike paddock and won the 2014 title in yesterday‰Ûªs final round at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. The French rider, who lives in the UK with his English wife Caroline and their four children, has also ridden at the highest level in MotoGP.
The 32-year-old has a total of nine World Superbike wins to his credit, five of which have come this season: at Phillip Island in Australia, Assen in the Netherlands, his home round of Magny-Cours in France last month, and a double race win in Qatar yesterday to end the season in some style. He boasts a total of 40 WSBK podium finishes.
Although the 2015 season will be Guintoli‰Ûªs first ride for Honda, he has a strong historical relationship with the team‰Ûªs title partner Pata, having ridden for a Pata-sponsored Ducati team in 2012, taking two race victories to finish seventh that season in the World Superbike standings.
"The events of this season and especially last night are still buzzing in my head, but I‰Ûªm delighted to be joining the Honda family and to be reuniting with Pata." Guintoli added. "The last time we worked together was a very unexpected but successful partnership.
"I brought Pata their first victories and we have a strong relationship. I‰Ûªm looking forward to tackling this new challenge and I can‰Ûªt wait to get going.
"Johnny [Rea] has obviously been strong on the Honda all season, and sometimes he‰Ûªs been very strong! So I think there is definitely a big potential with the bike and I think the new rules for next year will suit it.
"So for us this is good news and I can‰Ûªt wait to understand how it works; but it looks like a really good package and I‰Ûªm looking forward to getting the first impressions soon.
The announcement of Guintoli‰Ûªs appointment to the Pata Honda World Superbike team and his new partnership with 2014 World Supersport champion, Michael van der Mark, means that the team will bid farewell to both Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam.
Top Image: World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli Joins Pata Honda