Milwaukee Aprilia shine with superb third and fifth in wet Free Practice at Donington Park
Donington Park , 25/5/18
Milwaukee Aprilia riders Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty kicked off the WorldSBK Donington Park round in fine style by taking P3 and P5 in Free Practice on Friday.
Heavy rain in both the morning FP1 and afternoon FP2 limited the riders to using full wet tyres, including a new wet tyre from Pirelli with an increased profile. The inclement weather and low grip in FP1 made it difficult to judge comparative lap times, as riders tip-toed around the circuit with times well off the realistic pace. The rainfall eased for FP2 and Lorenzo and Eugene quickly elevated themselves, finishing the session an encouraging P6 and P13 as the rest of the field dialled in their bikes.
The rain then cleared for FP3 and the track dried out, giving the riders their first dry running of the day on slick tyres. Eugene was quick to light up the time sheets, taking P1 early in the session. Lorenzo used most of the session to focus on race setting, setting a series of consistent laps that held promise for his race pace.
For his final run of laps Lorenzo turned up the wick and demonstrated a blistering pace, his lap of 1’28.540 putting him P3 behind only Rea and Sykes and guaranteeing another successive Superpole 2 entry. In only his second race since returning from injury Eugene showed similar impressive speed, setting a lap of 1’28.650 that put him P5 and only 0.110 behind his teammate, who he will join in Saturday’s Superpole 2 shootout.
The weekend at Donington Park marks the home round for SMR and for Eugene, and with a strong and loyal fanbase behind them the team aim to deliver on Friday’s excellent pace in Superpole and Race 1.
Free Practice 4 at #UKWorldSBK takes place at 09:00 GMT (CET +1), ahead of Superpole at 10:45 and Race 1 at 13:15.
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
FP1: 1.48.414 - P16
FP2: 1'39.933 - P6
FP3: 1'28.540 - P3
Combined result: 1'28.540 - P3
Superpole 2 automatic entry
"Today was pretty good for us, and P3 was a really strong result for the team. It was a strange day really because of the weather changing, and going from heavy rain to dry was quite challenging. The last session was strong of course and I felt good on the bike.
We did a lot of work for the race this afternoon, we hope it will be dry for the weekend but we can't say one hundred percent. The bike felt OK in wet and dry conditions, we have some useful data for both but we need more to make it perfect.
I like this track a lot and the Aprilia works well here. There is some more work to do tonight with the guys, but I am confident we can have a good Superpole tomorrow."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
FP1: 1.50.415 - P19
FP2: 1'40.830 - P13
FP3: 1'28.650 - P5
Combined result: 1'28.650 - P5
Superpole 2 entry
"Today was really good. I took a lot of pressure on in the final session when we moved to dry tyres to move into Superpole2 like everyone else did, so we did a perfect job to get P5.
The nature of the track suits our bike really well, it's fast and flowing and lets us use the best of it. Even the final sector which is tight and twisty we're quick in, and our braking is strong there, so there's definite positives to take from it.
There's still some work to do to make the bike more comfortable to ride over race distance, but we have a good base to work from now. We're at the sharp end this weekend, and heading to Superpole our aim has to be the first two rows."