The farcical reason why ex-WorldSSP champ Krummenacher can’t race in Argentina

Cancelled flights and inflated ticket prices force several WorldSBK teams to shell out thousands just to reach Argentina... but not all will make the trip

Randy Krummenacher - CM Racing Yamaha

2019 WorldSSP Champion Randy Krummenacher has revealed neither he nor his CM Racing Yamaha team will compete in this weekend’s penultimate round of the 2021 season at San Juan Villcum because each flight to Argentina has either been cancelled or become extortionately expensive.

In an entirely relatable yet rather farcical turn of events for Krummenacher - not to mention Dorna -  his team has been left stranded in Europe after a series of flights to Argentina - which requires special dispensation to arrive in the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic - were cancelled.

Indeed, though an agreement with the Argentine government means those associated with WorldSBK/WorldSSP will gain access if they arrive at the border, the strict measures for others means several commercial flights that were available weeks ago have been scrapped in the days leading up to the race weekend.

A scenario many who have attempted to travel to an amber-graded destination these past few months can relate to, the drama stems from airlines offering up seats in advance in an effort to gauge custom in the hope of a change in quarantine-status, only to condense their fleet nearer to take off time if there is no change.

As the first overseas visit for the paddock since the Phillip Island opener in Australia in February 2020, the cancellations have reportedly left several teams having to make urgent alternative arrangements, with CM Racing and Krummenacher seemingly losing out in the scrum.

"We had tickets that were canceled," Krummenacher, who won the 2019 WorldSSP title with BARDAHL Evan Bros Yamaha. “Then we went looking, we made use of every contact. But there were only tickets for €5000 upwards, which of course was not budgeted. We don't even quickly have 35,000 euros for seven tickets. 

“Those were flights on which we would have stayed in Mexico for 30 hours. In addition, there would only have been three tickets, but there are seven of us. Then we said that the boss would stay at home, but I can't come with just two mechanics. We were in constant contact with Dorna - on Saturday they told us that there were no options. 

“My team boss then spoke to Gregorio Lavilla from Dorna on Monday. He's sorry, but it doesn't change the situation. Yari Montella has the same problem. The Orelac Kawasaki team apparently only has a one-way flight and sits in Mexico for the 30 hours described. They'll arrive in San Juan sometime on Thursday evening - they don't have a return flight yet.”

WorldSBK title fighters Rea, Kawasaki almost caught out

The embarrassment for Dorna shines a light on the already difficult logistics of getting to the San Juan Villicum circuit at the foothills of the Andes in the west of the country. Even from the capital Buenos Aires it would take 14 hours by car, while a journey from the other major city of Cordoba takes eight hours too.

Moreover, WorldSBK may feel aggrieved not more has been done to guarantee passage to Argentina given Dorna provides chartered flights for the MotoGP teams, who have a similarly troublesome time to get to the secluded Rio Termas de Hondo circuit, 800km north of San Juan Villicum.

Krummenacher goes on to say Kawasaki - fighting for the WorldSBK title with Jonathan Rea - were left in the same situation as CM Racing but could afford to book the hyper-inflated remaining tickets at €6,000 euros each.

"I don't want to think about that. GRT Yamaha quickly booked 17 tickets for €6,000 euros each. Argentina only allows certain flights, they reassess the situation every seven days. The Kawasaki factory team with Johnny Rea was in a crisis, they had the same problem as us. 

"They just solved the problem without having to think about the budget. They were afraid they would not come to Argentina because all of their flights were canceled. So even those who seem to have endless money first had to see how they got there."

"It's a shame that the race is taking place and I'm not there. It was not in my hand that I should not get there. It's a shame that I'm sitting at home now and have to watch the race on TV, it's not nice. We're talking about a world championship. 

“I just hope we don't see situations like this often. Because that's not just nice for me, but also for my team and my sponsors."

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