SBK, Argentinian nightmare: canceled flights, skyrocketing prices, SBK on its knees

Yesterday we published an article describing the difficulties of the World Superbike teams in preparing for the trip to Argentina. The new government restrictions have made traveling to South America difficult to say the least, and with a few days to go, the teams face seemingly insurmountable problems.

Sol Alvarez, GRT Yamaha team coordinator, explained the situation in detail on his Twitter profile. His words describe one by one all the problems that have arisen in recent days.

“To help!” – started his message – “We, the teams, are going crazy trying to get to San Juan (Argentina) next week. Our first flight reservations were canceled due to entry restrictions into the country. Just yesterday we were able to book flights at an exorbitant price. We had to change our arrival date to Wednesday, a day later than usual, and now we no longer have charter or scheduled flights from Buenos Aires to San Juan or Mendoza. Travel agencies offer to charter a private jet ”.

It is not difficult to understand that logistical difficulties are also accompanied by economic difficulties, which have a great impact especially for private teams. Also because in San Juan the prices of hotels and cars have skyrocketed, which also happened for the Termas de Rio Hondo GP of the MotoGP World Championship.

“It’s an expense we can’t afford after what we had to pay for flights to Buenos Aires – Alvarez suite – Now the hotel also wants to take advantage of the situation, since everything is reserved in San Juan, increasing the price and requiring that we pay in cash, otherwise they will leave us on the street. Also, since we have no way to get to San Juan, we haven’t even booked any rental cars and there aren’t any available anywhere in the province. “

That’s not all, as Argentine government restrictions also impose special certifications for entry into the country, which only increases costs.

“Today we received an email from the Argentine Consulate in Rome requesting a ‘Consular Certificate’ to enter the country – she added – This was not included in the agreements between the championship organizer and the Argentine government, with an additional cost of 40 euros per person, not including the two PCR tests, an antigen test plus compulsory COVID19 travel insurance for our entry into Argentina. . We can’t take it anymore! They’re bleeding us dry, that way we won’t be able to continue the season. We have been under unbearable stress and anxiety for a week! We want to race in Argentina, but not at any price, not like that ”.

The decision to run in San Juan, given the current situation, seemed a bit of a gamble, but it becomes nearly impossible. Also because the departure is scheduled for Monday, Tuesday at the latest, so there are only a few days left to provide all the necessary documents. Not to mention, as Alvarez rightly pointed out, the economic expense for a round that could have been avoided, considering that MotoGP canceled the Argentine GP without much fuss.

For Sol, there is also a sadness in what is happening due to the fact that she is Argentinian herself: “I am Argentinian, and it makes me very sad that my country wants to enjoy our championship in this way – she wrote – We are not millionaires because we come from Europe, we are humble people who try to do our job, and we do it out of pure passion … What surprises me the most is that all the teams have struggling to run in Argentina and I am the first to talk about it. We want to race in San Juan, we want to do it well, I want my country to have the honor of watching the World Superbike and the World Superbike to enjoy my country, that they have a good taste in their mouth when they return to us visit, when we can be proud of our roots when we are far away. I’ll probably be called a troublemaker, a moaner, or a rebel, and I don’t like being the face of the issues we face again, but in a situation like this what would you do? “.

The answer to his question is obvious, cancel everything. Alvarez also explained how “Dorna is trying to lend a hand, but nobody expected to have so many problems and there are a lot of teams with difficulties both logistically and economically.” The situation has gotten out of hand due to decisions by the Buenos Aires government to increase entry restrictions due to the Covid pandemic. Usually for an international sporting event there are preferential lanes, but this does not appear to be the case. Teams therefore have to manage time and money. A situation to say the least unpleasant and to resolve it only a few days ago.

About Todd Wurtsbach

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