WorldSBK Argentina Superpole Results: Bautista on pole in dusty farce

WorldSBK Argentina, San Juan Villicum Superpole Qualifying Results: Alvaro Bautista survives treacherously slippery conditions to take pole for Race 1

Alvaro Bautista - Ducati

Alvaro Bautista prevailed in a bizarre Superpole session ahead of the penultimate round of the 2019 World Superbike Championship at San Juan Villicum as terrible conditions caught out several riders in Argentina.

With WorldSBK riders rounded on officials by blasting the circuit as ‘dangerous’ after free practice due dusty layers creating treacherously slippery conditions, it was hoped Superpole would allow them to push on qualifying tyres.

However, instead the opposite was true, with no riders improving in the final minutes despite the grippier rubber at their disposal, with Bautista’s lap of 1m 40.771secs more than a second slower than the top time from FP3 earlier in the day.

Indeed, with a clear layer of dust off-line leaving only a slim margin of clean track for the riders to push on, many had to tread tentatively on their best laps, while others ran off altogether. As such, riders are predicting an unusual race with few opportunities to make a pass.

Nevertheless, the front row comprises of three different manufacturers as Ducati’s Bautista secured his first pole since Assen, followed by Michael van der Mark on the Yamaha and 2019 WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea, who ran off having looked on course to beat his erstwhile title rival’s time. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu heads up row two on the Puccetti Kawasaki from Alex Lowes and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who impressed on the privateer Barni Ducati to out-qualify team-mate Chaz Davies for the third race in succession in sixth and seventh.

Securing his first-ever top ten start in WorldSBK, Alessandro Delbianco was an eye-catching eighth on the Althea Mie Honda, the Italian benefitting from trailing Rea on his best lap.

Sandro Cortese, Marco Melandri and Leon Camier – one of the few to improve late on – comprise row four, while Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam endured difficult sessions down in 13th and 14th respectively.

Elsewhere, Loris Baz crashed early on but while he returned to track in the closing stages could do now better than 18th, ahead only of home hero Leandro Mercado, who didn’t get on track due to ongoing technical issues on the Orelac Kawasaki. 

2019 WorldSBK Argentina Superpole Qualifying Results

Argentinean WorldSBK, San Juan Villicum - Superpole Qualifying Results
1Alvaro Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 40.771
2Michael van der MarkNEDPata YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 40.896
3Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 40.911
4Toprak RazgatliogluTURKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 41.234
5Alex LowesGBRPata YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 41.408
6Michael Ruben RinaldiITABarni Racing Team DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 42.061
7Chaz Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 42.153
8Alessandro DelbiancoITAAlthea Mie Racing Team HondaHonda CBR1000RR1m 42.414
9Sandro CorteseGERGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 42.568
10Marco MelandriITAGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 42.573
11Leon CamierGBRMoriwaki Althea HondaHonda CBR1000RR1m 42.605
12Jordi TorresESPTeam Pedercini Racing KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 43.196
13Tom SykesGBRBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR1m 43.289
14Leon HaslamGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 43.893
15Ryuichi KiyonariJPNMoriwaki Althea HondaHonda CBR1000RR1m 44.251
16Eugene LavertyIRLTeam Goeleven DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 44.480
17Markus ReiterbergerGERBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR1m 44.943
18Loris BazFRATen Kate SBK YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 47.576
19Leandro MercadoARGOrelac Racing VerdNatura KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RRNo Time