Difficult Race 1 at Chang for Milwaukee Aprilia
Chang International Circuit, 11 March, 2017
Chang images here >
Milwaukee Aprilia had a tough first race at the Chang circuit for Round 2 of the World Superbike Championship.
Ahead of Race 1 the team performed well in qualifying, with Lorenzo Savadori joining teammate Eugene Laverty in Superpole 2 after a strong performance in Superpole 1.
Lining up on the grid 7th an 9th respectively, Eugene and Lorenzo made good starts in the race and maintained their positions as they fought with the pack.
Both riders had consistent pace, before separate technical issues caused them to slow. Lorenzo successfully held onto 13th place and 3 points. Eugene, running well in 7th place for most of the race, had an unfortunate technical issue on the last lap which forced him to retire.
The team will regroup and look ahead to Sunday, where they will push hard for better results in Race 2.
The action continues at Chang on Sunday with Race 2 at 16:00 (09:00 GMT).
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Shaun Muir, Team Principal
Today wasn't meant to be for us. Eugene fought really hard for his 7th place which would have earned us valuable points, but unfortunately he had a technical issue with half a lap to go. We still got some useful data from his race, and we'll recover tonight and be ready strong for tomorrow.
Lorenzo had an issue after Superpole 2 and struggled with his wheel balance, which he had throughout the race. He couldn't get into a rhythm because of that and had to fight to bring it home in the points.
Both riders and the team will work for some positive changes tonight and sleep on it, and we'll do our best to do better tomorrow.
Lorenzo Savadori #32
Grid - 9th Race - 13th
It was a difficult race today. I was glad to get into Superpole 2 and fight in the top 10, and our lap times were OK.
At the start of the race I held my place, but I started to get some vibrations from the bike and I had to really fight to finish with it. I lost a lot of positions toward the end and finished 13th, which was disappointing.
We need to check the data tonight for sure to make some progress, because we have found some good and useful things this weekend. We will work hard tonight and in the warm-up tomorrow to be ready for the race.
Eugene Laverty #50
Grid - 7th Race - DNF
I was pretty happy with how Superpole went, and we found some good pace from Practice. In the race I was gong well for the first few laps, the rhythm was OK and I was able to go with the guys in front.
In the middle of the race I had some vibrations which slowed me down but I held onto the position. Then on the last lap the bike broke which was disappointing. The guys will find out exactly what happened, but it was terminal and stopped my race.
I've got more optimism for tomorrow. We've been making fairly big steps forward all weekend, even if the results don't show it. Today showed that our race pace is improving, and I think we can push that further and do better in Race 2 tomorrow.