Argentina Day One
Alvaro Bautista topped the timesheets in Argentina overnight on the Spaniard’s first visit to Circuito San Juan Villicum.
However a dirty track for the opening day of practice saw many riders keep their powder mainly dry, choosing to sit out most of the sessions and wait for other riders to do the donkey work of putting rubber down and cleaning up the circuit.
Jonathan Rea opened his weekend strongly. The undulations and aggressive direction changes suited the Northern Irishman’s style and he finished the day in second overall, despite leading the FP2 session almost to the chequered flag as track temperatures nudged 50-degrees celsius.
“It was really difficult to find a feeling out there because you cannot push anywhere near the limit. It is like riding on marbles and the track did not get much better. I expected a big step in the afternoon session. Even though the track looked cleaner the grip wasn’t there. A really frustrating day because you are kind of reluctant to do anything with the bike set-up in readiness for the track ‘rubbering-in’ some more.”
Chaz Davies sat out most of the morning session and finished the day fourth overall just behind Barni Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi.
Tom Sykes worked his way through set-up changes to find enough grip from the BMW to finish the opening fifth on the charts.
“The circuit layout here at San Juan is fantastic and is so enjoyable to ride, its just a shame that the current track conditions are not great. Its not safe and is so easy to get caught out, you can go 15cm off line and you are at risk of crashing which is far from ideal. Having said that, the guys here done a spectacular job with the track and is certainly an amazing place to come race. Today we finished up P5 which I am pleased about, we made a few small changes on the bike throughout the session which was an improvement. We are only +1.000 second off the top two guys but other than that we are right in the mix, hopefully we can improve a bit tomorrow and be at the sharp end come the race.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) returned to action for the first time since his debut race winning weekend in France last time out. A late crash at Magny Cours in the final race left him with a painful left ankle, but he persevered to finish sixth on Friday’s combined times.
Leon Haslam was unfortunate in the afternoon session to fall almost as soon as he started, at Turn 16, suffering an off-throttle highside trying out a different option rear tyre and injuring his knee and thumb as he fell.
Despite his heavy hit Haslam got going again to finish seventh overall, after a typically gritty recovery at the end of FP2.
“I fell on an out lap, with zero-lean angle and zero brakes, as I had an off throttle high-side. It is the first time I had used that tyre. I went back out on my second tyre after the crash and I had zero grip. I could not even get to my knee because compared to the morning conditions they were a lot worse. We changed the tyre near the end and slowly got going.”
Fresh from the news that he is joining Kawasaki next season, Alex Lowes was ninth on day one in Argentina but Sandro Cortese had the honour of being fastest Yamaha in P8.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the condition of the track; it’s really dirty and it hasn’t improved as expected over the course of the day. The racing line is getting a lot better but if you get a bit offline then you’re on to the dirty part of the track. Hopefully the line will get a bit wider ahead of the race tomorrow. It’s a great track, the layout is fantastic, and the weather has been perfect today, but the problem with the dirty track means we’re a lot slower than we should be. But then the conditions are the same for everyone and we just have to deal with them the best we can. This afternoon we tried something with the bike that didn’t work as expected in the greasy conditions, which was important because now we know in which direction not to go tomorrow when, hopefully, track conditions improve.”
2019 – WSBK Argentina – Day One
- BAUTISTA Alvaro SPA Ducati 1’43.614
- REA Jonathan GBR Kawasaki 0.104
- RINALDI Michael Ruben ITA Ducati 1.229
- DAVIES Chaz GBR Ducati 1.252
- SYKES Tom GBR BMW 1.320
- RAZGATLIOGLU Toprak TUR Kawasaki 1.331
- HASLAM Leon GBR Kawasaki 1.397
- CORTESE Sandro GER Yamaha 1.530
- LOWES Alex GBR Yamaha 1.655
- VAN DER MARK Michael NDL Yamaha 1.723
- TORRES Jordi SPA Kawasaki 2.010
- MERCADO Leandro ARG Kawasaki 2.909
- BAZ Loris FRA Yamaha 3.025
- MELANDRI Marco ITA GRT Yamaha 3.104
- DELBIANCO Alessandro ITA Honda 3.940
- KIYONARI Ryuichi JPN Honda 3.999
- REITERBERGER Markus GER BMW 4.073
- CAMIER Leon GBR Honda 4.374
- LAVERTY Eugene IRE Ducati 6.989
The World Supersport Championship could well be decided this weekend, with Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) looking to become the first ever Swiss WorldSSP Champion. After day one however, it was Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) who made hay whilst the sun shone, whilst big names were littered throughout the top ten.
Leading the charge of the WorldSSP field into Saturday, Corentin Perolari left it late to go to top slot in FP1. The Frenchman put in a strong lap time late on and was just under half-a-tenth clear of his nearest challenger. Having languished down the field in FP1, Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) put in a sterling comeback in FP2 to be right in the mix going into a crucial Saturday Superpole day. The Italian put in strong lap times at the very end of the session, initially going to the top before being pushed back to second place. Completing the top three after day one was Championship leader, Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), as he looks to better his teammate to secure the WorldSSP crown.
Having been top of FP1, Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) slipped to fourth place but rounded out a strong opening day in Argentina in fine fashion. The Italian will look to repeat his podium success of Magny-Cours this weekend and looks like he has good pace. Fifth place belonged to Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA), who will need to find more pace if he is to keep his Championship hopes alive this weekend. Sixth place went to 2017 WorldSSP Champion, Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). The Frenchman starting his weekend in solid style as he looks to secure a second consecutive win of the season, following on from his magnificent in Magny-Cours.
Top MV Agusta honours went to Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse), as the 32-year-old begins his chase for a first victory in World Supersport. Behind him was Magny-Cours pole-sitter and ESS Cup Winner, Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing). Making it four manufacturers inside the top nine was Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), as he seeks more top tens on his first visit to Argentina. Christian Stange (GEMAR – Ciociaria Corse WorldSSP Team) rounded out the top ten on day one, confirming his top ten pace from FP1.
2019 WorldSSP Argentina Day One
- Corentin Perolari – Yamaha 1’46.246
- Federico Caricasulo Yamaha 1’46.292
- Randy Krummenacher Yamaha 1’46.451