The French rider had a high-speed accident at Turn 6 in the morning but bounced back in style in the afternoon with a new all-time lap record
As the FIM Supersport World Championship paddock descended on Argentina and the Circuito San Juan Villicum for the first time since 2019, Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) smashed the all-time lap record at the circuit as he looks to maintain his 100 per cent winning record at the Argentinean venue during the Motul Argentinean Round.
CLUZEL SETS THE BENCHMARK
French rider Cluzel has won both WorldSSP races held at the San Juan Villicum venue and set the pace on Friday with a 1’41.926s, some seventh tenths under the previous lap record held by compatriot Lucas Mahias. Cluzel missed out on a lot of running in Free Practice 1 but responded in the perfect fashion during the second 45-minute practice session with a new all-time lap record, finishing eight tenths clear of Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) and nine tenths clear of Championship leader Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha); both riders making their debuts at the Argentinean venue.
A CLOSE BATTLE FOR THE PODIUM BREWING?
Between Gonzalez in second and Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 15th, 14 different riders were separated by around one second a close battle for the podium appears to be brewing throughout the WorldSSP field. Hungary’s Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was fourth fastest after a strong day, finishing as the lead Evan Bros. Yamaha outfit with teammate Steven Odendaal in eighth place.
Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) was fifth as the sole MV Agusta rider in the field, and the first non-Yamaha rider. The Finnish rider had suffered from technical issues in Free Practice 1, late on in the session, but was able to get back out on track for Free Practice 2 to post a 1’42.996s for the fifth-best time, with Dutch rider Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) completing the top six after a late lap.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN
Italian rider Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) claimed seventh spot with De Rosa having a strong Friday session, missing out on a spot in the top six by just 0.012s to van Straalen. De Rosa was the highest-place Kawasaki rider in the combined classification with seventh place, finishing clear of Odendaal in eighth.
Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was ninth on Friday after consistently setting good sector times in Sector 1, with Estonian Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) rounding out the top ten after posting a time good enough for the top six in FP1; although all riders were able to improve in the second session.
COMPLETING THE FIELD
Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) was 11th on his return from injuries sustained from a crash on home soil at Magny-Cours, with Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) claiming a top-12 spot as he continues to show good pace in WorldSSP. Finnish rider Vertti Takala (Kallio Racing) was 13th ahead of Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) in 14th and Oettl who rounded out the top 15.
Argentinean hero Andres Gonzales (Yamaha MS Racing) marked his WorldSSP debut with 16th place, just two tenths away from Oettl, while Portuguese rider Sheridan Morais (Wojcik Racing Team), deputising for Christoffer Bergman, was 17th. Leonardo Taccini (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), who is standing in for Galang Hendra Pratama and making his first appearance on Yamaha machinery in WorldSSP, was 18th. 2020 WorldSSP300 Champion Jeffrey Buis (G.A.P. MOTOZOO Racing by Puccetti) was 19th on his WorldSSP debut with Matias Petratti (Yamaha MS Racing) rounding out the 20-strong field after Friday’s action.
The top six following Friday action at San Juan Villicum, full results here:
1. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) 1’41.926s
2. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGO Team) +0.795s
3. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.907s
4. Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. Yamaha WorldSSP Team) +1.015s
5. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) +1.070s
6. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) +1.159s
Watch WorldSSP’s Tissot Superpole on Saturday from 11:25 Local Time (GMT-3) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!