Sylvain Guintoli and Kazuki Watanabe join Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon
This is a press release from Team Suzuki…
Photos Courtesy of suzuki-racing.com
(January 19, 20201) – The restructured Yoshimura SERT Motul team has finalized its rider lineup to defend the FIM World Endurance Championship title in 2021. The new team of four riders sees Sylvain Guintoli and Kazuki Watanabe joining existing team riders Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon to form a team of proven talent and experience.
The Yoshimura SERT Motul team start their defense of the world title at round 1 of the 2021 EWC series at the Le Mans 24 Heures Motos in France on April 17-18, 2021.
Yohei Kato – Team Director: “We are very pleased to welcome these wonderful riders include a test/reserve rider to our new team, Yoshimura SERT Motul. When deciding the 2021 riders, I focused on stability and dedication to the team, then speed and balance in the team. To make the decision, I respected the opinion of team manager Damian and I feel we are able to have very well-balanced line-up to protect the title.
“Both Sylvain and Kazuki are deeply involved in the Suzuka 8 Hours Yoshimura team, and as you know, and Sylvain was in charge of the development of the Suzuki MotoGP machine that won the world title last year. Kazuki is also the development rider for this EWC project, and I’m very grateful for his work. Greg has been a hard worker in SERT and he led team to win the championship title. His Le Mans style start is always very impressive.
“Xavier joined SERT in the middle of last year and showed a stable speed. In his career, he has honed his skills in the world’s fastest speed competitions such as Moto2 and MotoGP, and I am expecting further performance in 2021. We work very hard with our four riders to challenge the defense of championship title. Thank you for your support.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “This new challenge is very exciting. I have raced with Team SERT in the past (8H of Doha 2010) and on three occasions with Team Yoshimura (8H of Suzuka) so this feels amazing to be able to challenge all together for the full Endurance World Championship.”
Gregg Black: “After winning the World Endurance Championship in 2020, I am really looking forward to the new season coming up, especially with the strong support from Yoshimura along with Suzuki and SERT. Also, we have the new Bridgestone collaboration which will be very interesting. With the new official calendar release we now know the first race will be held at the 24H le Mans in April, so I will continue my preparation to be at 100% for this first event of the season!”
Xavier Simeon: “I’m quite pleased with the more intensive collaboration between SERT and Yoshimura. For 2021 the target will be to keep this number one on the plate. I feel at home with the Team and I’m enjoying riding the GSX-R1000 and I’m also pleased to welcome Sylvain and Kazuki in the Team, and with Gregg I’m sure we will make a good team.”
Kazuki Watanabe: “I’m so proud and excited to be a part of Yoshimura SERT Motul. I have worked a lot to develop the bike for EWC last year. It was a new experience for me to concentrate to work as a test rider, and I was able to have deeper understanding of the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-1000R.
“I’m really looking forward to go on the track and would like to hear how my team mates feel with the bike. It is a new challenge to race EWC other than Suzuka and I never experienced a 24hour race before and I will do all my best for the team.”
For more information, visit www.suzuki-racing.com