Argentina was back on the calendar for 2019 and it certainly became a round to remember…
The dramatic backdrop of the Andes was nothing compared to the on-track action across the weekend at the Circuito San Juan Villicum in Argentina. A return to winning ways and a home hero’s late charge were just two of five stand-out moments from the only South American round on the calendar, whilst World Supersport had exploded into a three-man Championship duel.
Bautista back on top in Race 1
Having lost the title at the last race, Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) took what would turn out to be his last race win of the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season in Race 1 in San Juan. After an initial close battle in the early stages of the race with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing), Bautista broke clear and used the superior pace of his Ducati Panigale V4 R to ease to a sixteenth win of the season.
Race 2 sees Mercado romps through
There is nothing quite like racing at home and with the packed South American crowd cheering on home representative Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura). Starting from the back of the field in all three races but put up a thrilling fight to finish inside the top ten in all three races, with a best finish of eighth in the last race on Sunday. Momentarily up to seventh, a solid weekend of top ten results showcased Mercado’s potential and got the home fans on their feet.
Laverty fights hard for Race 2 triumph
After an injury-hit season, Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) entered the Motul Argentinean Round with a desire to achieve great things and once again, his late race pace was some of the best in the field. This was evident in Race 2 when, like Mercado, he came through from the depths of despair on the grid to take a seventh-place finish and return to the top ten for a second consecutive round. Working hard with the Team Goeleven squad to utilise the performance of his Ducati Panigale V4 R, Laverty came from 16th to seventh to prove his worth again.
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK take Teams’ Championship
Just like Kawasaki clinched the Manufacturers’ Championship in 2018, the Motul Argentinean Round at the Circuito San Juan Villicum proved to be memorable for the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK. Thanks to the hard work and year-long dedication and consistency from Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, the Spanish-based team were able to take the Teams’ Championship in fine style in South America for a fifth consecutive season.
WorldSSP tensions hit a new high
The heat of the World Supersport title fight boiled over in Argentina as both BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP riders collided with two laps to go. Federico Caricasulo was trying to recover from a mistake a few laps before and in ruthless fashion, barged Randy Krummenacher out of the way, subsequently handing Krummenacher his worst result of the season. However, conflict boiled over between Krummenacher and his team later on, as, in a fiery interview with Eurosport, he slammed the engine performance of the Yamaha and accused his team of favouring Caricasulo. All was not well and good, whilst Jules Cluzel won at the front to keep his Championship alive to the final round…
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