In what is the highest attended WorldSBK round since 2019, the Circuito San Juan Villicum saw an extraordinary attendance and a very special atmosphere in this year’s Motul Argentinean Round
The tenth round of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was a special one as the Circuito San Juan Villicum and the Motul Argentinean Round welcomed WorldSBK in extraordinary fashion, boasting the highest-attended event of the season so far. 78,549 fans enjoyed the title race play out in front of their eyes across the three days, making it one of the best-attended rounds at the iconic San Juan circuit, located with a spectacular backdrop at the foot of the Andes.
More than 78,000 fans cascaded through the gates in San Juan to watch some of the best World Championship motorcycle racing of the year, with it being a dramatic round in the context of the Championship. In Race 1, reigning World Champion and double San Juan race winner in 2021 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) crashed on the opening lap in a battle with Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who went on to win. In Sunday morning’s Tissot Superpole Race, the pair fought again in a frantic final lap fight, with Razgatlioglu triumphing, whilst it was Bautista who returned to the top step in Race 2.
The crowd were also treated to a tenacious display by Argentinean riders Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) and Marco Solorza (TPR Team Pedercini Racing); Mercado dug deep but couldn’t crack the points, not that it made him any less popular, as he was a hero at home regardless. Solorza also put in three respectable rides, something the home-crowd were also celebrating.
In the two pre-pandemic visits to Argentina, the numbers were also impressive with the highest-ever being recorded in the first year with 81,569 across the three days, whilst in 2019, the number was 52,355 – 2021’s was restricted by COVID-19 rules but the 2022 attendance makes it the highest-attended round in Argentina since the circuit’s inauguration with the Championship raising the curtain on San Juan back in 2018. Moreover, with the attendance of the 2022 Motul Argentinean Round, it’s the highest-attended WorldSBK since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keeping with the spirit of WorldSBK and the family feel that the Championship is famous for, those attending were able to get a real taste of the paddock atmosphere, with tickets granting access to the paddock and thus closer to their favourite riders and teams. It also allowed them to enjoy the paddock show and other paddock activities, such as the Motul Action Box, where spectators felt the excitement of being part of a team inside the garage, and the Motul Pit Wall Canopy, which allowed spectators aged 18 or older to enjoy the race from the pit wall, gave truly bespoke experiences. The Technical Bay is likewise open to fans, allowing them to get even closer to the bikes and view some of the high-spec tech in all its glory.
Fans were treated following the podium in Race 2, as Championship leader Bautista entered the crowd and celebrated by spraying the Prosecco DOC amongst the passionate fan base, something that captured the aura and emotion of not just the fans but the pure WorldSBK spectacle. All this helped make the Motul Argentinean Round a multi-dimensional motorsport experience that takes fans from the adrenaline-filled trackside action to the unique atmosphere inside the paddock, which can’t be matched anywhere else for the price of a general admission ticket.
WorldSBK Executive Director, Gregorio Lavilla, commented on the successful Motul Argentinean Round: “The Motul Argentinean Round at the Circuito San Juan Villicum always brings a special event and WorldSBK is proud to bring World Championship motorsport to this region of Argentina, in-turn a passionate motorcycle racing crowd. The unique atmosphere with racing in South America was made by the extraordinary number of fans, with more than 78,000 of them cheering on from trackside and within the paddock, getting closer to the action than in any other World Championship of motorsport. Dorna WSBK Organization is beyond proud of the popularity that WorldSBK has in San Juan and Argentina and with an intense title fight, the efforts of everyone involved in making the event happen were rightly rewarded. We look forward to returning to Argentina in 2023 and to welcoming even more fans to our WorldSBK spectacle.”
Governor of San Juan, Sergio Uñac, commented at his delight at San Juan being home to WorldSBK in Argentina and indeed South America: “We are very happy to welcome WorldSBK another time in the Province of San Juan. This track was built for big challenges like this one. It’s something we wanted very much, and we thank Dorna and the OSD Group for trusting in San Juan. We do everything that it’s in our hands to make this real. Here, it’s a solution not just for San Juan but also for those who come here: the tourists and the fans of motorsport. It’s great not just for Argentina but also the world of motorsport, it’s a great event. Thank you and hello to everyone and welcome to San Juan, where sport lives and beats.”
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