On a dusty and slippery circuit, even after extensive track cleaning operations, Mahias had ambitions of earning a front row start for Sunday’s race. A change of front forks just before Superpole proved to be a wrong turn in his machine’s set-up package. With no time to change them again he pushed as hard as he could and earned his second row starting position.
The circuit conditions have determined much over the first two day’s of action but even after such challenging sessions, and missing out on his desired front row starting position, Lucas is still in a good shape to make an early push in Sunday’s 19-lap race.
For Hikari the slippery conditions at Villicum saw him constantly fighting tyre slides as he aimed to get onto the front row. He was a disappointed 11th, and on the fourth row, but at the penultimate round he has a positive attitude about making up early ground to continue his aim of scoring a podium finish before season-end.
The 19-lap race at the 4.276km circuit is scheduled to start at 14.15 on Sunday 13th, local Argentinean time.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “Superpole was not so nice because we changed the forks before the session and the feeling was not so nice. After the first lap out I saved maybe three crashes. I entered to change the forks but we did not have time so I finished Superpole with a fork set-up that did not work. So I could push for only one lap, saved the front maybe five times and I finished up fifth on the grid. It is very frustrating because I did not have the opportunity to push. OK, the track surface is not nice but it was impossible to finish on the front row for the race on Sunday and I was 0.2 seconds down.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “Today was so difficult in qualifying because we had a completely different feeling from the morning session. There was too much sliding but I tried to push hard. It was risky in these conditions. In 11th position I am for sure not happy but if I make a good start in the leading group it will be possible to make a good race tomorrow. Today is today, tomorrow is another day.”
Top placed Kawasaki rider in Superpole was Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) in a confident second place. FIM Europe Supersport Cup (ESS) title holder Kyle Smith, Badovini’s team-mate was fourth fastest in the tricky conditions that characterised the pre-race action. Smith led the Superpole field on two occasions before taking a final fourth place time.
Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) was 20th in qualifying, and Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) is allowed to start the race despite not setting a Superpole time, due to his earlier performances in practice.