Twenty one laps to go, then it's a two week wait until the last race of the season. Argentina's Circuito San Juan Villicum gave World SUperbike two races on a fresh track, surrounded by a region rebuilt after the 1944 earthquake.
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The first World Supersport race at the Circuito San Juan Villicum was nineteen laps of the four thousand two hundred and seventy six metre track and could help define who would be crowned champion. Rain overnight cleaned the track and left before it became a problem.
An anti-clockwise track, starting with a hill with a crest after the finish line, a couple of swooping corners, a kilometre run to a passing corner, some tight one-line-only corners, flip-flop, flip-flop and a couple of tight lefts to get back to the hill. Race one of World Superbike at Circuito San Juan Villicum would be twenty one laps with clouds looking on from the shadows of the Andes.
World Supersport's Superpole started with the first session where thirteen riders would fight for two promotional spots, with Hannes Soomer and Hector Barberas the quickest of the slower riders in timed qualifying.
Hector Barbera opened the session quickest, but was knocked off the top spot by Hannes Soomer, but Loris Cresson and Christian Stange were on quick lapses the quicker riders pitted in. Stange sat behind Cresson down the fast kilometre-long back straight and used the extra speed to take the top spot before the mid-session break.
Superpole for World Superbike at a new track means whoever is on pole position sets the lap record. The altitude saps a little power from each bike, limiting their ability to set speed records on the kilometre-long back straight. Michael van der Mark and Jake Gagne start Superpole one as favourites to progress to the join the ten fastest men for Superpole two.
Jonathan Rea is the first and only rider in under 1'40 at the San Juan Villicum circuit, heading to Saturday on top, ahead of Marco Melandri and the surprising and consistent Toprak Razgatloiglu. With everyone improving upon their results from the previous sessions, the last session determined the places for superpole, and Leandro Mercado qualified directly into Superpole two in front of his home crowd at the first ever World Superbike race at this track.
Lucas Mahias heads to Saturday in provisional pole position, with Jules Cluzel and Federico Caricasulo well within two tenths. The rest of the field are over half a second off Mahias's quickest time with only two non-Yamaha machines in the top ten. Hannes Soomer and Hector Barbera in the two favourite spots to progress to Superpole two tomorrow.
Newly crowned World Champion Jonathan Rea was quickest as the pace increased, with Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alex Lowes remaining in the top three. Lorenzo Savadori was two thirds of a second off Rea's quickest time with Chaz Davies hot on his heels.
After a delayed start and a red flag brought on by Sandro Cortese's Yamaha going pop, the chequered flag eventually came out with Jules Cluzel briefly leading Randy Krummenacher and Lucas Mahias. The top three were three quarters of a second quicker than the rest of the field.
In the inaugural session at Argentina's San Juan Villicum circuit, Alex Lowes ended up on top, joined by the Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu. Marco Melandri, quickest for most of the session, had to settle for fourth place on the timing sheet above Tom Sykes.
World Superbike's last race in Europe before heading off to a new circuit was contested by twenty one riders on a fairly warm day.
World Supersport was thirty riders competing over nineteen laps of Magny-Cours with French riders challenging at the sharp end in front of their home crowd.
World Supersport Superpole had twenty riders fighting in Superpole one for two spots in Superpole two. Hannes Soomer and Ayrton Badovini ended Friday in the best place to get promoted to join the ten quickest riders, including the French pair of Jules Cluzel and Lucas Mahias, in Superpole two.
World Superbikes is on the precipice of history with Jonathan Rea capable of winning his fourth world championship in a row. How did he do?
World Superbike Superpole started the first session at the new early time and eleven riders competed for the two spots in the second session, with Eugene Laverty and Leon Camier the favourites to promote themselves.