World Superbikes Argentina: Jonathan Rea on back foot after costly crash in second practice session
Jonathan Rea will be playing catch-up on Saturday after the reigning World Superbike champion crashed out in the early stages of the second free practice session at the San Juan Villicum circuit in Argentina.
The Northern Ireland rider went third fastest in the morning, half-a-second behind championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu, but Rea lost vital track time later in the afternoon when he slid off at high speed in FP2.
Fortunately, he escaped unhurt, but his Kawasaki machine sustained extensive damage and he missed the rest of the session.
Razgatlioglu led the way again on his Pata Yamaha from Aruba.it Ducati’s Scott Redding, with Rea’s team-mate Alex Lowes in third ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Ducati). Rea ended the day fifth fastest overall, 0.6s down on Razgatlioglu, after managing seven laps in FP2 before his crash.
A final 30-minute free practice session will be held on Saturday prior to Superpole qualifying, but Rea is now on the back foot after his costly mishap.
The six-time champion is 24 points behind Razgatlioglu going into Saturday's first race (19:00 BST) at the penultimate round of the 2021 championship.
But with 124 points still on the table, a seventh consecutive world crown is still on the cards for the Ulster rider.
The 34-year-old is aiming to turn the tables on his Turkish rival this weekend and set-up a winner-takes-all finale at the new Mandalika circuit in Indonesia in November.
On Sunday, the Superpole race is scheduled for 16:00 BST with race two at 19:00 BST.