WorldSBK Argentina: Another lap record and WorldSSP Superpole for Aegerter

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Reigning champion Dominique Aegerter took his seventh WorldSSP Superpole on Saturday with a new lap record at the San Juan Villicum Circuit.

A 1’41.181 lap fended off a barrage of fast Italians as Althea Ducati’s Federico Caricasulo and Orelac Ducati’s Raffaele de Rosa completed the front row. His title rival Lorenzo Baldassarri lining the Evan Bros. Yamaha neatly behind in fourth.

Supersport qualifying fired up at the foot of the Andes Mountains with GMT94 Yamaha’s Jules Cluzel preparing for the final trio of flyaway races of his decade-long career. The Frenchman third in Friday’s combined times with Ten Kate’s Aegerter and Caricasulo ahead.

Aegerter set the initial pace as the first laps registered. A 1’42.525 topping de Rosa and Puccetti Kawasaki’s Can Öncü before Baldassarri arrived four tenths ahead.

The early trio were back in front next time around, this time with De Rosa in charge after a 1’41.818, with Caricasulo joining the fray from fourth.

Cluzel was battling MV Agusta’s Niki Tuuli for sixth as the halfway point arrived, Puccetti’s Yari Montella, Aruba Ducati’s Nicolo Bulega and EAB’s Glenn Van Straalen rounding out the top ten as Caricasulo strove for provisional pole.

A crash for Öncü saw the Turkish rider on the deck at turn ten with eight minutes left on the clock, the second runs preparing ahead of the rapid final push.

Five to go and the action ignited. Cluzel striking for fourth as Stefano Manzi promoted the Dynavolt Triumph up to fifth while Peter Sebestyen entered the top ten on the second Evan Bros. machine.

Aegerter took provisional pole with a 1’41.408 and two minutes to go, as the timing screens lit up in red. Caricasulo immediately bettering with his sixth attempt as both Aegerter and de Rosa continued to threaten.

Cluzel improved again with a brief stint in third before de Rose demoted him, Aegerter back in charge overall with a 1’41.181 as the chequered flag prepared and a new circuit record in the bag.

Final efforts found Baldassarri claim third before de Rosa stole it back, Tuuli outpacing Cluzel for fifth with Bulega, van Straalen, Manzi and Sebestyen completing the top ten. Hannes Soomer secured 11th on the second Dynavolt from MTM Kawasaki’s Adrian Huertas with Bradley Smith kicking off his wildcard ride on the Ten Kate R6 from 13th, less than a second adrift of his teammate.

A deleted lap for Öncü saw the Puccetti rider facing a 14th place start for the afternoon race action ahead of GMT94’s Andy Verdoia and Montella with Ducati’s Oli Bayliss and Motozoo’s Tom Booth-Amos completing row six.

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