Argentina Day Two
From Friday morning, it was immediately clear that the Argentinian track conditions were not the best. After the problems that arose last year, this year about 70% of the track had been resurfaced, but it did not improve the grip due to the vast amount of sand on the asphalt.
For this reason, riders Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R), Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1), Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1), Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team / Honda CBR1000RR), Riucki Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team / Honda CBR1000RR) and Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven / Ducati Panigale V4 R) decided not to participate in the race as a form of protest.
The remaining twelve riders who lined up on the grid rode the race regularly over a distance of 21 laps on a 49-degree track temperature.
After taking pole position in the Superpole session held in the late morning, in Race 1, Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R) maintained the race lead from start to finish.
At the start, both Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) managed to get past Michael Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1), moving in behind the Ducati-riding Spaniard.
In the opening laps, the first four riders were within a gap of less than six-tenths of one another. On the seventh lap, Rea had a go at overtaking the race leader, but the Ducati rider was able to fend off the attack. The Northern Irishman made another attempt on the following lap and it seemed as if he would be able to overtake Bautista, but the Spaniard maintained the upper hand, once again staying ahead of the reigning World Champion.
From about the mid-race point, the gaps between the riders increased and the positions stayed the same until the end.
Álvaro Bautista winning the race ahead of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR), third.
Michael van der Mark beat his team-mate Alex Lowes to fourth place while Leon Haslam was sixth ahead of Tom Sykes.
P1 – Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
“It’s my first time riding here in San Juan and I am so happy that I was able to get the victory at this amazing track with all these amazing people supporting us! Today was really difficult riding on the slippery surface of the asphalt. I just tried to keep calm and avoid mistakes. I didn’t really focus on my performance but more on not making any error, trying to ride as smooth as possible. I hope tomorrow we will be able to enjoy other amazing battles”.
P2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“To be honest, it was a really difficult race today. The conditions of the track were not perfect and it was more about trying to manage my race. I feel really good with my bike and I want to thank all my guys because we made a last-minute change for these conditions and I think it worked. I tried to be with Bautista, but then I made a mistake because I was riding over my head to stay there. I made a few mistakes but I really hope that the track will be a little bit better tomorrow, but for today I am quite content with the podium”.
P3 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing)
“It has not been so easy for me, but I think all riders were struggling today. In the final two laps, I pushed to the limit in the attempt to reach the second position. But then I saw it was impossible for me to reach Johnny, so I decided to settle there in the third position and bring home another podium. I am really happy about this result. Let’s see how will be tomorrow”.
#ARGWorldSBK at Circuito San Juan Villicum: Race 1
- Á. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
- J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
- T. Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
- M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1)
- A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1)
- L. Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
- T. Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR)
- J. Torres (Team Pedercini Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
- L. Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
- A. Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team / Honda CBR1000RR)
- M. Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR)
- M. Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
Championship Standings after Race 1, Round 12
- Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (564 points)
- Alvaro Bautista (ESP) Ducati (440 points)
- Alex Lowes (GBR) Yamaha (290 points)
The World Supersport grid took to the San Juan circuit for their Tissot Superpole session in Argentina, more important than ever before at it is match-point for the title this weekend. As the track temperature increased, it became increasingly harder to set a competitive lap time. However, remaining in fine form from topping FP2 on Friday, Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) mastered the hot conditions and the heated battle for pole, taking his first ever World Supersport pole.
The 25-minute session got underway in a bad way for Loris Cresson (Kallio Racing), as the Belgian rider crashed at Turn 1, meaning he had a mountain to climb. It was looking like it would also be a tricky weekend for the BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team duo of Randy Krummenacher and Federico Caricasulo, as the top two in the Championship were languishing outside the top five.
Unlike in the WorldSBK, lap times came on stronger throughout the session and with just three minutes to go, it was looking like a French 1-2-3 on the grid for Sunday’s race. However, it would all be spoilt as the times tumbled in the closing stages, with a variety of riders firing shots at the front row.
In the end however, it was Corentin Perolari who remained at the top of the timesheets and took a career-first pole position in World Supersport. The young Frenchman – who is the seventh youngest WorldSSP pole-sitter in the class’ history – had never achieved a front row until now, proved that his Friday pace was no fluke and he took the pole position by just under a tenth of a second from Italian sensation, Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing). The veteran was back on the front row for a second successive round. Completing the front row and eager to keep his title aspirations alive, Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) will be eager to capitalise on his front row advantage.
Heading up the second row, Magny-Cours pole-sitter Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) made it two Kawasaki’s in the top four. The British rider, who was a constant front row threat, is seeking a first podium of the year in WorldSSP. Fifth place belonged to another Kawasaki rider, as 2017 World Supersport Champion Lucas Mahias secured a second row start, making it three French riders in the top five. Championship leader Randy Krummenacher will start this title quest from sixth place, as he is off the front row for a second round in succession.
Row three features more big names, with Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) looking for a second consecutive podium in World Supersport from seventh on the grid. He was able to pip Federico Caricasulo, as the rider second in the standings was only able to finish eighth. One place behind, it was a career-best starting position for Christian Stange (GEMAR Ciociaria Corse WorldSSP Team), who was top Honda. Completing the top ten was Hungary’s Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda).
There’s plenty of work to be completed for plenty of riders outside the top ten, as Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 11th, ahead of Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) in 12th and Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) in 13th.
Pole position – Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA)
“I have a very good feeling with my bike here in Argentina. I am extremely pleased with the first position. Since the beginning of the weekend, I’ve been feeling comfortable on my bike and I think that starting for pole position will help me do a good race tomorrow. Thanks to my team for all their effort”.
WorldSSP at Circuito San Juan Villicum – Superpole
- Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) 1’45.993
- Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) 1’46.060
- Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) 1’46.129
Sunday AEDT Schedule