Milwaukee Aprilia target strong start to European campaign
Motorland Aragon Circuit, 30 March, 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia have arrived at the Motorland Aragon Circuit in Spain as they embark on the first European leg of the 2017 season
After a difficult start to the year at Australia and Thailand the team are confident of a stronger showing at the Spanish circuit. Bringing a raft of upgrades to Round 3 for the Aprilia RSV4 RF, the joint forces of SMR and Aprilia Racing are looking forward to getting out on track and making progress towards the front. With a day of testing to follow the round on Monday 3rd April, Milwaukee Aprilia will work on setup and parts verification as they begin racing across Europe.
Lorenzo Savadori has been declared unfit for the weekend following a crash in Round 2 at the Chang circuit in Thailand. He is fully focused on recovery, and expects to be race-ready for Round 4 at Assen. Substituting for him will be Spanish rider Julián Simón, the 2009 125cc Champion for Aprilia and Moto2 competitor. He will race with number 3, and the team look forward to working with Julián and the experience he brings.
Designed by Herman Tilke and opened in 2009, the Motorland Aragon Circuit has established a strong reputation as a technical and challenging track, with 17 turns to master around the 5.077Km layout.
The action begins at Aragon on Friday with Free Practice 1 at 09:45 local time (08:45 GMT)
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Michael Shanley, Team Manager
We had a tough couple of flyaway rounds, but we're back in Europe now to start the bulk of the 2017 season where everything settles down a little bit.
We learnt a lot during Australia and Thailand, and SMR and Aprilia have worked really hard over the gap. We've got a few new things to put in place at Aragon, and hopefully they will bring us a step closer to the front. We want to be regularly challenging in the top 5, and that's our aim this weekend.
We're gutted that Lorenzo is unable to race this weekend, but it's important he focuses on getting better and we wish him a quick recovery. It will be really interesting to see Julián Simón [standing in for Lorenzo Savadori] in action. There's no doubting his talent as a previous champion [2009 125cc championship], and we're excited to use his experience and to see what he makes of the Aprilia RSV4 RF.
Eugene Laverty #50
Aragon is a track I really like. I tested here a lot on the Aprilia in 2012 and 2013 so I know how to make the bike work, and I had good MotoGP performances in recent years.
The weather looks dry for this weekend which is promising. Friday will be really important for us to test the updates that the team have been working really hard on, which we hope will bring us closer to the guys at the front.
I know Julián from my time in MotoGP. He's one of the nice guys of the paddock, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he makes of the bike and his first time on the Pirellis.
Julian Simon #3
I am really happy to be here in World Superbikes and to be with the Milwaukee Aprilia team. It is special for me to be racing at home in Spain, and I am grateful for this chance.
I am excited to start the weekend; I don't have experience with WorldSBK or with a 1000cc bike, but Milwaukee Aprilia are a very professional team and it was great to be called by them. I am sorry for Lorenzo, and I hope he gets better very soon.
I am just going to enjoy this weekend, and after tomorrow we will see how the bike feels for me. I don't have any special objectives right now, but I hope I can give the team a good result.