Rea still the leading man in Argentina
After two practice sessions on the brand new 2.672 miles of tarmac at San Juan in Argentina, newly crowned four-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea came out on top after an unpredictable second session when no less than nine riders set a fastest time at some stage of the 40-minute practice.
Rea’s fastest time of 1m 41.794 secs (a speed of 94.514mph) came on his final lap, a third of a second faster than fellow Kawasaki rider Toprak Razgatlioglu, who was closely followed by Alex Lowes. who was fastest in the opening session, Lorenzo Savadori, Chas Davies and a surprise sixth position for American Jake Gagne on the Red Bull Honda.
Times had improved by two and a half seconds from the opening session as riders got to grips with the new track.
Toome’s Eugene Laverty improved significantly second time out, moving from 13th fastest to eighth, less than a second behind countryman Rea’s fastest time.
Closer to home, Carrick’s Glenn Irwin edged ahead of Jake Dixon by a mere 0.007 seconds in the final five minutes of yesterday’s second practice session at Brands Hatch to lead the way ahead of today’s qualifying and first of three British Superbike races over the weekend.
Irwin, leaving the PBM Be Wiser Ducati team to join the JG Speedfit Kawasaki outfit in 2019, is still chasing his first BSB race win of season and is locked in a battle to finish in third position in the championship with Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman.
His task will be to finish ahead of both in all three races and get that elusive victory. Glenn’s brother Andrew Irwin ended the day 11th fastest with Michael Laverty down in 16th and Josh Elliott 20th.
Dubliner Jack Kennedy, on the verge of taking the Supersport championship in this afternoon’s sprint race, was fastest in practice, a quarter of a second ahead of rival Ben Currie, who had a 10th of a second to spare over Carrick’s Alastair Seeley.
On his British Supersport debut, Ulster champion Jason Lynn was down in 30th position, over five seconds slower than Kennedy.
Chasing the Junior Supersport championship today, Eunan McGlinchey qualified third fastest yesterday ahead of today’s eight lap race, just 0.219sec behind pole position man Elliott Pinson and a fraction of a second behind Brian Hart in second.
Tyco BMW rider Keith Farmer, from Clogher, was fastest in the Superstock 1000cc sessions, a fifth of a second clear of Joe Collier and Billy McConnell. Ausralian McConnell is 10 points behind Farmer in the championship, ahead of tomorrow’s final race.