The World Superbike Championship will head to San Juan, Argentina, in 2018. This will be the first time that South America has hosted a WorldSBK event.Dorna WSBK Organization signed Wednesday a three-year contract with the Government of San Juan and the OSD Group to host a WorldSBK round at the Villicum Circuit, which is currently under construction. This makes Argentina the 26th country to host World SBK since the series began in 1988.
The Villicum Circuit, near the city of Albardon in the province of San Juan, was built by known Argentinian architect Leonardo Stella, and is 2.6-miles long with 19 corners (11 left, 8 right). It’s located on Route 40, which runs north to south through Argentina.WorldSBK plans to visit the circuit in 2018, and the Government of the Province of San Juan and OSD Group are hoping to have the track homologated by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) later this year.Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna Group CEO, said: “Without doubt this is very good news. Knowing that Argentina will have a World Superbike Round is a solid step forward. The presence of the two of the most important world championships in motorbike racing in Argentina, reflects the passion of a country which has a vast and deep rooted history in motor sports.”Daniel Carrera, Executive Director of WorldSBK, said: “We are very proud that the government of San Juan selected WorldSBK to help develop the economic activity of the Circuit, and the province of San Juan. In recent years WorldSBK has been present in destinations around the world such as the United States, Thailand, Australia or Qatar, where events have been developed with great results. The Villicum Circuit is projected as a top-level facility, with an exciting track that will surely be welcomed by our paddock and all the fans of our sport in Argentina.”Speaking of the deal, The Governor of the Province of San Juan, Sergio Uñac said that the new circuit “is a project which will position San Juan at the heart of the sport, as the best categories of motorcycling and the motoring world will discover a stunning circuit with The Villicum, creating an unbeatable thrill.“As well as this. There will be a hotel nearby – the old La Laja hotel. We are also talking with interested parties to build a hotel in front of the racetrack, which is one of the necessities in order to put this racetrack the highest international level”.Orly Terranova, CEO of OSD, also commented: “I am very pleased that the new Villicum Circuit – which has already received the first approval from the FIM – allows us to work with another world-class international event like WorldSBK. As well as this it provides us with a definite option of attracting other categories of motorsport.“In addition we believe that this is the opportunity for Argentina to have one or more riders competing, as the category will be a great platform for Argentine and Latin American motorcycling. Undoubtedly, the new racetrack – located on the legendary Route 40 – will generate a positive impact in the Cuyo region, increasing the levels of tourism the province of San Juan has to offer.”
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.