Double points finish for Milwaukee Aprilia after challenging Aragon Race 1
Motorland Aragon Circuit, 1 April, 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia riders Eugene Laverty and Julián Simón brought home a double points haul in Race 1 at Aragon in a close-fought race
Starting in 9th after a solid Superpole 2 performance, Eugene was in the thick of the action as the lights went out at Motorland Aragon. For most of the race he was involved in a tight battle with Stefan Bradl and Nicky Hayden, with Eugene coming out on top as he made full use of the Aprilia RSV4 RF's impressive horsepower to finish 8th.
WorldSBK debutante Julián Simón, starting 17th in his first race on a 1000cc bike, was involved in his own fight for points. After seeing off stern challenges from Randy Krummenacher and Alex De Angelis, Julián battled admirably to finish 13th with 3 points.
The team will now analyse and evaluate the data gathered from Race 1, and will put it to full effect to build on their progress in Sunday's Race 2.
The action continues at #AragonWorldSBK with Warm Up at 09:30 local time (08:30 GMT) ahead of the Race 2 finale at 13:00 (12:00 GMT).
Mick Shanley, Team Manager
It was a difficult race for the team. With Eugene, both the team and certainly himself expect to be closer to the front. We need to analyse the data thoroughly and work out why we're losing out in the lap times to the front guys.
Julián did really well in his first race on a 1000cc bike, he's gaining experience every lap and moving forward. It's good to see him enjoy riding the RSV4 RF, and I'm sure he can have another good race tomorrow.
We have a good idea of what we need to improve to help the rider. Aprilia are working hard on this to test in morning warm up ready for Race 2, and hopefully we'll have a better result for both riders.
Eugene Laverty #50
Grid: 9th Race: 8th, 8 points
It was really tough race. P8 is more than I thought I'd get at one stage, but I managed to stay ahead of the group behind me and had a good fight with Bradl and Hayden.
I struggled with the braking which made overtaking hard; I was able to use the Aprilia's horsepower well on the straights, but the braking is something we need to address for Race 2.
We've got time tonight and tomorrow to look at the bike and evaluate where we are missing out. If we can solve our issues from today then I'm confident we can deliver a stronger result on Sunday.
Julian Simon #3
Grid: 17th Race: 13th, 3 points
I am really happy with how the race went. When I was on the grid I didn't expect much from the race, but I wanted to enjoy it and to get points on my debut is great.
At the start it was difficult to find a good rhythm, but after a few laps the bike was feeling good and I could push hard. I made some small mistakes in the first and last corners, but I came back and made some good passes on Krummenacher and De Angelis.
Tomorrow I hope we can improve the feeling on the bike and get a better result, and I would like to say thanks again to SMR and Aprilia for the support.