With only two days to learn the circuit - against three for Brands Hatch - and with the circuit being so much more technical, Guintoli was facing a huge challenge: Finishing Saturday's three free practices in 16th place confirmed just how tough a task it was. However, today, Guintoli seemingly found another gear as he pulled himself right through the pack to finish fourth fastest - barely half-a-second off the lap record - to secure front row starts for tomorrow's two 18-lap races.
"I'm very, very happy with today's result. I feel confident with the tyres and that we have the pace to be a force tomorrow.
"I've had to be very careful in learning the circuit; there are corners here that are taken blind at 150mph and with so many bumps and jumps it would have been easy to make a mistake. Finishing yesterday 16th fastest showed how much work there was to do, but we sat down with the data and analysed where we could make the differences. It's been a great team effort; everyone has worked so hard."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"For Sylvain to make the front row is incredible. This track is very, very difficult to master. Sylvain made the effort from the beginning in finding his own way, rather than following someone else, and this has paid dividends. He relaxed and let the lap times come to him.
"The GSX-R1000 has again been excellent. Our base setting continues to work well and we've made just a few small changes here and there to make the bike comfortable for Sylvain around this testing course.
"We've got a front row start so there's every chance tomorrow Sylvain will get good starts and be riding with the leaders."