September 25, 2021

WSBK to press ahead with Argentina round despite COVID fears

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The Circuito San Juan Villicum is due to host the penultimate round of the season on October 16-17, but there has been uncertainty over whether the race would go ahead as planned due to travel restrictions and the severity of the pandemic in the region.

MotoGP had previously axed plans to hold its Argentina race at Termas de Rio Hondo for a second consecutive year.

However, ahead of this weekend’s ninth round at Barcelona, WSBK organisers have confirmed that Argentina will host its first major motorcycle racing event since 2019 as scheduled, with specific protocols for the race to be announced at a later date.

The production-based championship also announced that it has reached a new deal with the promoters of the Argentina race to be included on the calendar for the next two years.

The El Villicum circuit first featured on WSBK in 2018 and was due to hold last year’s title decider before being axed from the calendar as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

WSBK Executive Director Gregorio Lavilla said: “We’re pleased to be able to return and race in the San Juan province. There’s a great passion for racing and motorcycling in the area and after postponing last year’s event, we wanted to secure WorldSBK presence in the region for years to come. 

“For the championship, our teams, our riders and also for our partners, the Argentinean round is a unique opportunity we want to consolidate, as having a round in South America is key for WorldSBK’s growth.”

With the Argentina round now confirmed, the only remaining uncertain event on the calendar is Indonesia, with the South East Asian country currently preparing to host the final round of the season on November 13-14 on the Mandalika street circuit.

However, as well as COVID-related travel restrictions, there are question marks over whether the track will be homologated in time.

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