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

Yesterday we published an article describing the difficulties of the World Superbike championship teams in preparing for the trip to Argentina. The new government restrictions have complicated, to say the least, the trip to South America and, just a few days before their departure, the teams are facing problems that seem insurmountable.

The main problem is that many teams have had their flights canceled and had to rebook them at exorbitant prices. This has resulted, in some cases, in them losing connections with the charters that fly from Buenos Aires to San Juan or Mendoza and it is virtually impossible to find others, so much so that some travel agencies suggest renting private planes.

It is not difficult to understand that the logistical difficulties are also accompanied by economic ones, which have a big impact especially for private teams. Also because, in San Juan the prices of hotels and hire cars have skyrocketed, something that also occurred in the Termas de Rio Hondo GP of the MotoGP world championship. We mention that when MotoGP arrived in the country, car rental for a week was in excess of one thousand euros and guesthouses somehow magically turned themselves into luxury hotels, at least when it came to settling the bill. The same thing is happening in San Juan, where rooms are no longer available, if not at exorbitant prices.

That’s not all either, because the restrictions of the Argentine government also impose special certifications for entry into the country, which only increases the costs. The Argentine Consulate in Rome now requires a “Consular Certificate” to enter the country, with an additional cost of 40 euros per person, not counting the two PCR tests, an antigen test plus compulsory COVID19 travel insurance. A few hundred euros more it could be said, but just multiply that for each member of the team and the figure increases.

The decision to race in San Juan, given the current situation, seemed like a gamble, but it is becoming almost impossible. Also because departure is scheduled for next Monday, Tuesday at the latest, so there are only a couple of days left to provide all the necessary documentation. Not to mention the economic expenditure for a round that could have been avoided, considering that MotoGP canceled the Argentine GP without too much fuss.

Dorna is trying to help but it is also prey to events, no one expected to encounter so many problems and there are many teams with both logistical and economic difficulties. The situation has gotten out of hand due to the Buenos Aires government’s decisions to increase entry restrictions because of the Covid pandemic. Usually for an international sporting event there are preferential corridors, but this does not seem to be the case. So the teams have to deal with it, and that means time and money. An unpleasant situation to say the least and to resolve it there is only a handful of days.

As for the teams that will leave from Italy, we also forgot to mention that there is also a general strike that will have repercussions on air transport. In other words, smile…things could be worse, so I did and they were…