Hard work brings little reward for Team HRC at Villicum
A challenging penultimate Superbike World Championship round has concluded for Team HRC at the San Juan Villicum circuit in Argentina. Riders Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam rounded out the day’s two races with a tenth- and an eleventh- place finish apiece.
The 10-lap Tissot Superpole race got underway at 12pm local time in sunny but rather windy conditions. Lining up in tenth position, Haslam held his starting position from start to finish, riding consistently to finish the short sprint in the top ten. Team-mate Bautista meanwhile made up one position through the opening lap to place fourteenth and was up into eleventh by lap four. Three seconds behind Haslam in tenth, the Spaniard did his best to close this gap but was not quite able to do so, considering the limited number of laps available to him. Bautista therefore crossed the line eleventh, immediately behind his team-mate.
The Team HRC riders were back on track for the final race of the weekend at 3pm local time. Ninth on the grid, Haslam made a very strong start and was up into seventh through the first turns. He lost a few positions in the early stages of the race, while Bautista retained his starting position, fourteenth, through lap one, but then gradually started to make progress. By the mid-race point, Alvaro had caught his team-mate, the Team HCR pair lying tenth and eleventh. Holding these positions for several laps, Bautista then passed Haslam in the final stages to cross the line tenth, followed by Leon, eleventh.
In the championship standings, Bautista positions tenth with 180 points, Haslam twelfth on 134. The final Superbike World Championship round will be held at the new Mandalika circuit in Indonesia on 19-21 November.