Top ten for Sebestyen in tricky qualifying conditions at El Villicum

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda riders Peter Sebestyen and Jules Danilo battled the difficult track conditions in qualifying today for Sunday’s World Supersport race from Argentina.

Grip was at a premium at the 4.276km San Juan Villicum Circuit and despite losing so much of the Tissot Superpole session after a small crash, Hungarian rider, Sebestyen will start tomorrow’s 19-lap race from the head of the fourth row of the grid in tenth position.

Sebestyen said: “Today was a very good day except I crashed.  In FP3 I found a good rhythm behind other riders but also I could ride good laps alone, so that’s a big step forward. I could be fast in my first laps so I was happy and confident for qualifying but the track conditions were completely different.  Maybe the high temperature, there was no grip but I felt very good on the bike, I was in a good position between fast riders and I could easily ride good laps. I felt every movement of the bike but unfortunately in the last corner, I did the same speed – we already checked the data – the front closed a little bit.  I tried to pick it up with the gas but I rode over the line and the rear started to slide, so I had between a low side and a high side crash.  I managed to get back to the box because I wanted to ride some laps to get back the rhythm.  I think we have a very good bike, we just have to make a very good decision because the conditions change from session to session.  It‘s a little bit like roulette so we have to be very clever for the race.”

With the track temperature increasing by almost ten degrees across the two sessions, Frenchman Danilo continued his familarisation with the San Juan circuit but struggled for grip and feeling in Tissot Superpole. Danilo qualified fifteenth and completes the fifth row of the grid tomorrow.

Danilo said: “It was not at all good today, I just can’t find the feeling really, I don’t know what to say, we need to find something for tomorrow otherwise it’s going to be a difficult race.  It was better this morning with more grip on the track and tomorrow it looks like we are going to lose ten or fifteen degrees of temperature so maybe that will help us.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Peter crashed very early on in the session on his second really good lap which was going to be an improvement for sure but he slid off.  We got the bike back but the handlebar was bent and as it’s not such a long session, there was no time to change the bar.  With the difficult track conditions it was hard for him to have good feeling so it wasn’t possible to go back out and put in a faster time.  However, he’s still tenth on the grid and his performance this weekend has been a big step up.  I believe he can be in a really good fight in the race tomorrow for his best result of the season.  We can’t say it was bad luck but with a much cooler day forecast tomorrow the track conditions will be better, I see no problems and I’m looking for a great race for Peter.”

“We wanted better than fifteenth for Jules.  On that last lap he was well on to improve and to move up the grid but he ran onto that back straight and dropped out of the lap. I do believe the cooler track conditions tomorrow will make everything better for him and Peter. Let’s look forward to a great race for us as a team and for all the fans here.  Good job everybody.”

Results Tissot Superpole

1 C. Perolari 1’45.993

2 A. Badovini +0.067

3 J. Cluzel +0.136

4 K. Smith +0.206

5 L. Mahias +0.241

6 R. Krummenacher +0.275

7 I. Vinales +0.773

8 F. Caricasulo +0.924

9 C. Stange +1.016

10 P. Sebestyen CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.200

15 J. Danilo CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.726