San Juan El Villicum Circuit
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team took to the dusty San Juan El Villicum circuit today in the penultimate Round of the 2019 WorldSBK Championship. Tom Sykes started his weekend by finishing in P14 with a best lap of (1’48.966) however only completing 10 laps in comparison to Alvaro Bautista’s 20. San Juan rookie Markus Reiterberger used FP1 to learn the track and completed 19 laps around the dusty circuit putting himself in P16 (1’49.568).
During FP2 the track conditions didn’t improve and as a result reflected the times in comparison to 2018. Tom Sykes throughout the session made minor adjustments to his BMW S 1000 RR to find the perfect feel in the unusual track conditions. Tom managed to work his way up the time sheet and went -4.100 seconds faster to P5 overall. Markus Reiterberger following his maiden FP1 session now up to speed equally improved on his FP1 time to go -1.900 seconds faster, finishing P17 overall.
Shaun Muir - Team Principal
"A very tricky day, the track is on average 2 seconds a lap slower than it was last year so clearly there are major grip issues. I can’t see that really improving for tomorrow so its going to be a very interesting race as the riders are not wanting to over commit and risk crashing.
Tom is happy with the set-up of his bike in these conditions and has experience of the track from 2018. Whereas Markus is completely new to the circuit and faces the challenge of learning the track, and to ride the track in its current state was difficult day for him. Overall happy with the progress of Tom and Markus, for tomorrow we will try and build a bike with the suspension setting that will allow for some better grip for Qualifying and Race 1."
Tom Sykes (GBR)
"The circuit layout here at San Juan is fantastic and is so enjoyable to ride, its just a shame that the current track conditions are not great. Its not safe and is so easy to get caught out, you can go 15cm off line and you are at risk of crashing which is far from ideal. Having said that, the guys here done a spectacular job with the track and is certainly an amazing place to come race.
Today we finished up P5 which I am pleased about, we made a few small changes on the bike throughout the session which was an improvement. We are only +1.000 second off the top two guys but other than that we are right in the mix, hopefully we can improve a bit tomorrow and be at the sharp end come the race."
Markus Reiterberger (GER)
"It was quite a difficult day today, it’s my first time here in Argentina so firstly I had to learn the circuit which didn’t take too long. The track conditions were very strange for me, it was like riding on dirt but with a powerful bike which was nothing I’ve experienced before.
Today we made some good steps forward with the bike which were interesting, but we also saw where we are losing time. So tomorrow we need to make another big step in the right direction as currently I am struggling a little bit with the feeling of my BMW S 1000 RR."