Suzuki's Guintoli to miss Suzuka 8 Hours due to injury

Sylvain Guintoli will take no further part in the Suzuka 8 Hours after sustaining an injury in a test session in the run-up to the blue riband event on the FIM Endurance World Championship calendar.

Suzuki's Guintoli to miss Suzuka 8 Hours due to injury
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2014 World Superbike champion Guintoli was due to lead the factory Yoshimura Suzuki team’s charge along with EWC teammates Gregg Black and Kazuki Watanabe in the final year of the marque’s participation in the Japanese enduro.

But the 40-year-old suffered an injury on his left hand in a test session earlier this week, which has rendered him unfit for the race.

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Guintoli took no part in Friday’s two-part qualifying session and is being flown to the UK to undergo treatment in hope that he’d recover for the next round of the EWC calendar in France next month.

It is expected that Black and Watanabe will compete in Suzuka 8 Hours as a duo in the absence of Guintoli. 

Suzuki failed to progress to the Top 10 Trials shootout earlier on Saturday, not helped by rain hitting the track for the final ‘red’ session in which Watanabe was taking part. It mean Black was the only rider to set a representative time for Suzuki in qualifying, with Guintoli absent from his ‘blue’ session.

“I am really gutted I can’t race this weekend,” said Guintoli. “Returning to the Suzuka 8H after 2 years was a great challenge, but unfortunately it’s impossible for me to race. 

“We are leading the World Championship and I was looking forward to try to win this fantastic race. I wish the Team and my Team mates all the best, I know there are very strong and I can’t wait to be back at the Bol d’Or for the next and final race of 2022.”

Guintoli made 48 starts in MotoGP with a variety of marques between 2002 and ‘19, securing a best finish of fourth during that period. He also won the World Superbike title in 2014 with Aprilia.

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