Following recent media coverage regarding FIXI Crescent Suzuki and Guintoli's 2013 plans, the UK-based Suzuki World Superbike team made the following statement today:
"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! "
The future of Guintoli's racing plans have been on shaky ground since his abrupt departure from the Effenbert Liberty racing squad this past July on the eve of the Brno World Superbike round. The Frenchman picked up a ride with Pata Ducati for Silverstone, however his 2013 plans remain unclear.
Guintoli would have replaced FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider John Hopkins, who has announced he will take a sabbatical from professional motorcycle racing in 2013 in order to priortize his a return to full fitness prior to return to racing.