The ups and downs of the Argentinean Round; verging on history and extraordinary crowds!
The titanic trio were at it again in Argentina, putting on a show for an extraordinary crowd attendance of over 78,000 fans – marking this has the highest attended WorldSBK round since 2019.
Now the dust has settled from the Motul Argentinean Round, it’s time to debrief just what went down from the Circuito San Juan Villicum! It was a dramatic weekend to say the least, and headlining the chaos was reigning World Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) who crashed in the opening race after an endearing pass for the lead.
For Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), it was two wins and one second place which means now, potentially, he is one race away from being crowned 2022 Champion. Bautista took victory in both full-length races in Argentina as he moved 82 points in front of Toprak Razgatlioglu, and checking out from six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) with a 98 point buffer. But Bautista’s wins didn’t come easy, having to work hard in the opening laps that eventually saw him coming away with two more wins to his name.
Razgatlioglu denied Bautista of a hat-trick, but a superb ride saw the Turkish rider come out on top in the Tissot Superpole Race as he took one of his best wins in WorldSBK, making crucial moves at a corner that had proven to be so costly just 24 hours earlier when heartbreak struck. In Race 1 on the opening lap, Razgatlioglu had been passed by Bautista down the back straight and was looking to respond immediately, but lost the front of his Yamaha machine at Turn 9 and went tumbling through the gravel. He was able to re-join the race and fight his way back to 15th place, but with Bautista taking the race win, this mistake could very well be the last piece of Bautista’s puzzle to bring home the World Championship title.
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 motosport. 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.”