Guintoli to make MotoGP return in France with Suzuki


PARIS (Reuters) - Former Superbike world champion Sylvain Guintoli will make a MotoGP comeback at his home French Grand Prix this month as replacement for injured Suzuki rider Alex Rins, the team said on Thursday.

The race at Le Mans is on May 21 and Suzuki said the experienced 34-year-old would stand in until Spanish rookie Rins could return.

Rins broke his right ankle while training on a motocross bike in March and was then ruled out of last month's Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas after crashing heavily in final practise and fracturing his left wrist.

The Japanese manufacturer said Guintoli, whose last full season in MotoGP was with Ducati in 2008 although he made a one-off return in Germany in 2011, was a natural choice.

"Not only he has been Superbike World Champion in 2014, but he also already has experience in MotoGP, and he is already a Suzuki rider," the team said in a statement.

Guintoli is currently competing in the British Superbike Championship, which does not clash with MotoGP.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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