Guintoli, Lowes target Imola success

Pata Yamaha riders Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes are looking to carry on with their recent good showing when the next round of the World Superbike Championship takes place at Imola this weekend.

Last time out at the Assen TT Circuit, Guintoli claimed a second successful front row start and is hoping to convert his fast qualifying pace into decent race results. He did not complete Race One crashing out early and in Race Two finished in 11th position.

In the current WSBK standings after four races, Frenchman Guintoli is eighth with 58 points while team-mate Lowes is in 10th position on 44 points both well behind championship leader Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea sitting on 181 points.

In an interview with the Yamaha Racing site, Guintoli said the team’s plan at Imola was to improve on the race day performance on a very challenging track.

“For Imola our clear target is to improve upon the race-day performance and maximise the excellent potential which the Yamaha has,” said Guintoli.

“It’s a very challenging track, for riders but also for bike set-up, and we really need to work hard to allow the YZF-R1 to perform well over the full length of the race as we know we have the pace as already shown in qualifying.

“I’m looking forward to Imola, we have a lot of events before the race weekend begins which look like a lot of fun, but then for the race itself, it’s one of the great tracks and one I always enjoy.”

Last time out at Assen, Lowes picked up a seventh and an eighth place finish and feels this weekend’s race in Italy affords him the opportunity to continue to improve on his YZF-R1 at a circuit he really enjoys.

“Imola is a track I really enjoy, even though it’s a very difficult track to get right – maybe the most technical in the season,” said Lowes.

“I’m really hoping to make a step forward there – we were hoping to do that at Assen, but we had a difficult weekend with the weather.

“I want to be able to run with the front group so I’m looking forward to getting to Italy and working hard with my crew to achieve our goal of making that step towards being consistently close to the top-five group.”