Valentin Guillod could be on his way to AMA Supercross and Motocross racing next year after failing to find a satisfactory saddle and contract in MXGP for 2017.
The former European Champion and Grand Prix winner has had a quietly encouraging maiden season in the premier class with a raft of top 10 finishes on the Rinaldi-engined Kemea Yamaha YZ450FM and currently lies ninth in the standings.
Guillod has found his options at Yamaha limited despite holding contract ties with the brand for 2017. Jeremy Van Horebeek’s renewal with the factory team and Kemea’s reversion to the full MX2 works effort for Yamaha Motor Europe means that Guillod has nowhere to go in blue and after splitting with the Wilvo Standing Construct team last winter.
With the other factories all but confirmed for next season then Guillod’s career path in Grand Prix is narrowing significantly. “I’ve had some talks to head to the US and I will know a lot more in Charlotte and see what proposals I can find,” he commented exclusively. “A new challenge would be really cool, to see something different. I’m quite good at supercross and ride it during the season to change things and have some fun. Going one year in the U.S. and learning some new things would be good.”
The Swiss – who is likely to make his last Yamaha appearance representing his country at the Motocross of Nations at Maggiora in September – said he had been let-down by the manufacturer’s decisions. “I’m quite disappointed,” he admitted. “Last year I had a great proposal from Suzuki and told them I would go for it…but Yamaha put a lot of pressure on me and finally I re-signed. I’m sorry to have done that to Suzuki but it happened like this. I had an option with Yamaha for next year but it wasn’t taken and now I’m pushed out. They didn’t even ask if I wanted to do that SMX for them. So I’m disappointed how it turned out but we still have two GPs to do this year and I really want to do my best. I know I can ride for the podium.”
Guillod has had some approaches from satellite teams to remain in MXGP, allegedly talking for Assomotor Honda with Honda Motor Europe support, but was lukewarm on whether any could be considered.