The San Juan weekend got off to a rocky start at the foot of the Andes for Jonathan Rea, as he suffered a big crash in FP2 whilst Toprak Razgatlioglu ran riot at the front
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s opening day of action at the Motul Argentinean Round at the Circuito San Juan Villicum was a dramatic one for Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), as the six-time World Champion crashed at Turn 6 in FP2 and was unable to complete the session with the bike being too badly damaged. To make matters worse, Championship leader and Rea’s main title rival Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) topped the session with an electric pace, dominating day one.
Rea was settling into the session and after the first 15 minutes, was already up inside the top three, having finished in third in FP1. However, Rea crashed at Turn 6, tucking the front under braking as he rolled through Turn 6 and into Turn 7. Rea’s bike barrel-rolled through the gravel and was badly damaged, whilst Rea was able to walk away. However, with the bike being too badly damaged, he wasn’t able to get back out in the session as he finished fifth overall and lost out on valuable track time.
Speaking about the crash, Rea said: “I’m frustrated really because we lost a lot of time in the session; I went down quite early in the first 15 minutes of the session. I just rolled in towards the backstraight on the entry and just lost the front. I was building my confidence step-by-step and overstepped the mark. I am not sure if I was off-line on the dirty part of the track or just a little bit too much braking and then went down. The bike wasn’t salvageable to get back, so we lost out on the full session.”
Attention then turned to tyres, as Rea wasn’t able to use the soft tyre having missed the remainder of the session: “We never got the chance to use the soft tyre, as it seems that’s bringing a little bit of time for everybody, but we still have tomorrow. Alex was able to do a complete run on it so we have some information on it for tomorrow. The bike is working well, the track has rubbered in well compared to previous years I’ve ridden here so it is quite consistent and fast; let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
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