After the first two free practice sessions of the Argentinean Round of the Superbike World Championship, which is being held this weekend at the San Juan Villicum Circuit, the provisional standings see Álvaro Bautista topping the timesheets, while Chaz Davies ends the day in fourth place.

The riders went out this morning with tricky track conditions because of the sand that had made the surface very slippery. Despite the numerous sessions of the other categories throughout the day, the situation remained almost unchanged and the increase in temperature in the afternoon made the second practice session complicated as well.

Bautista, who has never even seen this track before, set the fastest time in FP1 in 1’45.191, went on to improve by a second and a half in FP2 and finished the day with a fastest time of 1’43.614. Davies, 13th in this morning’s session, made a big step forward in the second session, lowering his time by a full three seconds to end up with a 1’44.866.

Tomorrow will see the third and final free practice session take place at 10:30 local time (15:30 CET), followed at 13:00 by Superpole, which will decide the grid line-up for race 1, scheduled to start at 16:00 (21:00 CET).

Álvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati #19) – 1’43.614 (1st)

“Today was a very positive day, it was a totally new track for me so I tried to do a lot of laps in both sessions to become confident. I like the San Juan Villicum Circuit a lot, it’s a track that alternates fast corners and slower ones with a long straight, and I felt good immediately. Unfortunately, the conditions of the tarmac weren’t perfect, the track is very dirty and you have to lap a lot to get it into an optimal condition. Tomorrow the situation will surely improve and the references will change, but we’ll try and adapt to be even more competitive.”

Chaz Davies ( Racing Ducati #7) – 1’44.866 (4th)

“I’m happy because today was quite good, even though the conditions were really difficult because of the sand on the track. This afternoon the track cleaned up a bit but the increase in track temperature brought different problems. The lap times are quite high at the moment, but it is what it is for everyone. Generally, the bike felt good right away, but I probably put my new tyre in a little bit too early and when I wanted to push at the end of the session I didn’t have much grip left.”