CIA Landlord Insurance Honda take a step into the unknown for the penultimate round of the FIM Supersport World Championship this weekend at the all new Circuito San Juan Villicum in Argentina.
With no set-up data for any rider to refer to at the San Juan track, CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Kyle Smith is hoping to get his South American debut off to a strong start in Friday ‘s Free Practices.
Smith said: “I’m very excited to go to a new track. I want to start the weekend off better than last week in France where it didn’t go very smoothly and hopefully we can be fighting up at the front in Argentina.”
Teammate Peter Sebestyen goes into the Motul Argentinian round on the back of his first World Supersport points scoring finish last time out in France and is looking forward to familiarising himself with the new 4.276km circuit.
Sebestyen said: “I’m really curious about the new track. It’s always fun to discover a new circuit. In Magny Cours I really enjoyed the race weekend we improved a lot and finally I scored my first points. I don’t have more pressure on me because of the points and now I would like to concentrate on my riding style and not on the results. We should try out some suspension and balance modification to get the best feeling on the bike but we are on a really good path with Kor and Matia so better results will come in time. Of course, I have already checked all the information about Autodromo el Villicium. On paper I like the layout and the lines, I think it’s good for my style and for Honda’s style as well. Anyway, the first day will be very important to find the good setup as soon as possible and get the rhythm to make a good qualification and race.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “So we are going to a new track, a new country and a new challenge. I’m excited for us because there will be a level playing field. Peter scored his first points in Magny Cours and comes here in a confident frame of mind. For him it could be a big chance to shine because everybody is riding their bikes here for the first time. He’s had some time on our bike now so I think he could go even better than he did at Magny Cours. I expect him to go from strength to strength to the end of the season and we are looking forward to a successful 2019 together.”
“Kyle had a difficult Magny Cours with three crashes in practice and lost out on a huge amount of track time so it was a credit to the team that we were able to finish eighth. Again, a new track that I think will favour Kyle and obviously we expect a strong performance from him in Qatar. So we’ll do some more development work for us with MecTronik and obviously we are developing the package for every Honda team in 2019. It’s a big thing for all of us and we are really looking forward to it.”
World Supersport action kicks off at Circuito San Juan Villicum with Free Practice One on Friday at 10:40 (local time).