Milwaukee Aprilia finish strongly in pre-season testing Down Under
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit , 20/2/18
Milwaukee Aprilia have completed two strong days of pre-season testing at the Phillip Island circuit
Two tests at Jerez and Portimao ended on a positive note for the team, marking a big step forward in performance. Testing at Phillip Island has brought further gains for riders Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori on board the Aprilia RSV4 RF machine.
A year of knowledge and development with Aprilia Racing and SMR has put the team in a much stronger position than they were 12 months ago, ready for a new season with a good package to challenge for the top positions.
Round 1 of the season begins on Friday with FP1 at 09:45 (AEDT), a rule change meaning there are now 3 free practice sessions on the first day.
Shaun Muir - Team Principal
"It's been a very useful and positive test for us. We left Portimao last month with some work to do, and we knew that Phillip Island is unique in its own right. We can push for a lap time but without doubt the focus for this test has been life of the tyres and getting good pace that can last from the first to the last lap.
Eugene is happier being at the sharp end and was able to finish P4 overall. Lorenzo is only a few tenths behind him in P10 and improving. We can see that the grid has have compressed overall, but last year's leaders are still the ones we need to challenge.
There's still work to do, for sure the new race format with three practice sessions on Friday will be good for us guys who still have some development to do. Now we can give the guys a little bit of R&R on Wednesday and Thursday, prepare the bikes and look forward to FP1 on Friday."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
“We've had a really good test overall, both days we made progress and got some great data. On the first run on Monday the bike didn't feel good and I struggled, but the guys worked so hard and within a few more runs they'd transformed the bike. I think the key here has been continuity with the team and the data, and understanding the Aprilia more and more.
Tuesday was a fantastic day for us to finish P4. In the morning session I went out on old tyres and went P1 which was unexpected, and we had good pace all day. For sure we are in better shape than last year and I feel a lot more confident on the bike.
Everyone is excited ahead of round 1 this weekend, we're in a good position and I'm excited to get back on track. My aim for the weekend is to be top 6 or better, considering we are in the mix more now. The thing we can't rely on is the weather which could be wet, but it will be wet for everybody and we'll get stuck in and I'll push for the best result I can get."
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
“It has been useful testing for us, we have worked hard to achieve the best set up for the race. We haven't made many big changes to the RSV4 RF and it is more simple for me to ride, which is a very good thing.
It's difficult to compare the bike to testing in Jerez and Portimao but we used the data from those tests and have made progress here, every time we are making steps forward. My rhythm is better on the bike, and we still have more work to do.
I'm looking forward to racing again and the start of the season. This is a great track and I was fast last year, and with two more days to work with the team before Free Practice I am sure we can find some new things to try."