Bautista takes Pole in Argentina ahead of Van Der Mark and Rea

by Robert Jones

The penultimate Superpole of the 2019 World Superbike season at the Circuito San Juan Villicum, saw Alvaro Bautista secure his fourth Pole Position of the year and first since Assen. 

The Aruba.it Ducati rider was back to the form we are accustomed to seeing, as he edged out Michael Van Der Mark and newly-crowned champion Jonathan Rea

Bautista and Van Der Mark were the early pace setters, as both men swapped fastest times on their opening run while Rea was in fourth place behind Toprak Razgatlioglu

It was an unusual session as the typically faster designed qualifying tyre was seemingly not producing the results it normally does, as every rider except Rea was unable to improve their lap time. 

The new five-time champion was slowly reducing the gap to the leaders, and on his final run started setting personal best sector times as he looked to be heading for Pole.

However, Rea struggled throughout qualifying in the fourth and final sector compared to Bautista and Van Der Mark and ultimately missed out for this reason

Razgatlioglu was fourth fastest ahead of the man he replaces at Pata Yamaha in 2020 Alex Lowes, while Michael Ruben-Rinaldi finished the session sixth fastest. 

Unlike his Spanish teammate, Chaz Davies had a difficult Superpole as he could on manage seventh place ahead of the surprising Alessandro Delbianco in eighth. 

This is the Italian’s first top ten result of the season, and will look to build on his success in race one. Delbianco will start ahead of the GRT Yamaha duo Sandro Cortese and Marco Melandri

It was a disappointing session for Tom Sykes, Leon Haslam and Loris Baz, who will all need an impressive turnaround in race one if they are to secure any major points. 

Sykes and Haslam will start thirteenth and fourteenth respectively, while Baz will lineup eighteenth. The Frenchman suffered a crash on his first lap out of the pits, and was unable to put forth a challenge on his second run which resulted in him being last of the runners who completed a flying lap. 

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