The Circuito San Juan Villicum will host its inaugural round of the World Superbike Championship, Round 12 of the 2018 season. As a new venue for the entire grid, the circuit presents a level playing field with no previous setup data for teams to work from.
Both Leon Camier and Jake Gagne are looking to build off their pace in France, where they improved on their CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines each session.
Camier is expecting a busy weekend of setup work without any previous reference for riding at the track. The opening sessions will be crucial for understanding the direction for the remainder of the weekend. For Gagne, the Circuito San Juan Villicum offers a chance to learn with the rest of the field, rather than trying to catch up to years of previous experience.
Riders will get their first taste of the circuit on Thursday during the track walk, but Villicum looks set to present a sizeable challenge with its 19 corners and 1 kilometre long straight. The eight right hand corners and 11 lefts present a mix of fast and flowing corners, such as Turn 5, and tight technical sections as from Turn 13 to 16.
The twelfth round of the WorldSBK championship commences with Free Practice 1 at 0945 local time (GMT -3) on Friday. Race 1, the first ever race at Villicum, will begin at 1600 local time on Saturday, while Race 2 on Sunday starts at 1600.
Leon Camier 2
I’m looking forward to getting the weekend started after finding some more lap time and direction with the bike in Race 2 in France. Fingers crossed we can carry on and keep improving. Obviously it’s a new track so it is difficult to know where we will be at the minute. Until we start the weekend and figure it out, it’s an unknown for everyone. There are lots of things to sort out like gearing, electronics and there are no references for anything, a lot to learn in the first few sessions. No one has ridden on the track before so we need to see how the track holds up, what tyre life is like. Everything is an unknown, it’s going to be a tricky weekend but the same for everyone.
Jake Gagne 45
Crazy to think we’re already almost to the end of 2018. Argentina is going to be an exciting round no doubt. Being a brand new circuit for the whole paddock it should make for an interesting weekend. There will be lots to learn from FP1 but I’m excited for the challenge. I’m hoping we will be able to get a feel for the new circuit as quickly as possible and I think the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 will like the new challenge. The team has been working very hard so I hope to make some more good steps forward and close the gap to the front!
Argentina, a new round for everyone. I think we are well prepared after a solid weekend in Magny Cours with Leon. The bike is in a proper window and hopefully we can get and find his momentum from FP1 onwards. It will be another challenge for Jake, but he has learned many tracks this year and everyone else will also be learning alongside him. The general feeling is the same: it will be an adventure, as no one really knows what to expect or what is going to happen. Set up wise we have a general suspension and electronic setting to use. The team and I are excited, let’s go!”