CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Kyle Smith ended the opening day of round eleven of the World Supersport Championship at the Circuito San Juan Villicum sixth on the combined timesheets with a time of 1’45.654 and takes his automatic place in Superpole 2 tomorrow.
After a challenging weekend at Magny Cours Smith was hopeful of a good start to the weekend and was fastest for most of Free Practice One until the session was red-flagged. As the day progressed at the inaugural Motul Argentinian round, the times tumbled and the young Brit improved his time set in the morning by over two seconds.
Smith said: “It’s been a positive start to the weekend at a new circuit. Difficult track conditions with it being slippery and it’s a little bit more technical that I thought so just getting to understand it and not working on the bike too much as we’ve been working more on getting to know the track. The speed doesn’t seem to be a million miles off where I want to be so we’ll carry on working and see how tomorrow goes.”
Fellow CIA Landlord Insurance rider Peter Sebestyen also improved his times by over 1.5s across the two sessions to place eighteenth but was frustrated with his overall progress.
Sebestyen said: “It was not a good day for me. I just didn’t have the speed. I started the day from the very bottom and in one lap I could go a little bit faster but at the end of the two practices I am not happy with my time. I think we can improve a lot with the bike and with myself so I just have to get my head together.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “It’s been a good day for Kyle going straight through to SP2 but we need to find a little bit more. We changed gearing and it was a definite improvement. We need to look if we can maybe go a bit further in that direction but we need to study it very carefully as we need to find the balance between the gears for the corners and the best acceleration for the end of the very long back straight but we are quite happy and looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully moving up the field a bit more.”
“It was a difficult day for Peter. He is only four tenths off fourteenth but he needs to find quite big chunk to have a chance to go through to SP2. We’ll be working for that in FP3 in the morning but if not, the important thing is to qualify as far up as possible and look for another points scoring position, higher than last time and keep progressing here and for the last race in Qatar.”
Free Practices Combined Results
1 L. Mahias 1’44.680
2 J. Cluzel + 0.083
3 F. Caricasulo +0.155
4 T. Gradinger +0.559
5 R. Krummenacher +0.869
6 K. Smith CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.974
7 R. De Rosa +0.988
8 S. Cortese +1.130
9 L. Stapleford +1.414
10 C. Perolari +1.708
18 P. Sebestyen CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +2.804