Pole position shootout for Savadori and Milwaukee Aprilia at Magny-Cours
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, 28/9/18
Milwaukee Aprilia riders Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty experienced mixed starts to Round 11 in France, finishing Friday Free Practice P4 and P11 respectively.
Arriving at the Magny-Cours circuit for the final European round of the season, the team hope to build on a very promising round in Portugal where Eugene took the team's first pole position with Lorenzo P4.
Friday temperatures started at 16 degrees but rose throughout the day to over 24, with a dry track giving the riders a full day of unimpeded running. Lorenzo finished FP1 in P5 with 1'38.278, just +1.076 off the front with Eugene behind in P9 a further +0.480 off with 1'38.758.
Both riders made big gains in the second session, Lorenzo finishing P2 with a 1'37.503, just +0.100 off first place and -0.775 quicker than his FP1 best. Eugene progressed to finish P6 with a 1'37.870, +0.367 behind his teammate and -0.888 faster than his own FP1 time.
For the final FP3 session only Eugene improved again, along with the riders ahead. Lorenzo finished the session P5 with 1'37.702, +0.494 from the top but enough to secure him a combined P4 result and a guaranteed place in the Superpole 2 shootout session. Eugene struggled however, improving to a 1'37.860 that was unfortunately only good enough for P11, and as a result he must progress through the Superpole 1 session.
Free Practice 4 at #FrenchWorldSBK takes place on Saturday 29th September at 08:45 local time (GMT +1), ahead of Superpole at 10:30 and Race 1 at 13:00.
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
FP1: 1'37.278, P5
FP2: 1'37.503, P2
FP3: 1'37.702, P5
Combined result: P4, Superpole 2 entry
"Today was positive, the weather was good today and I hope the track stays like this for the weekend. We need to work more for race pace though and we have tonight to focus on that. Really we need to make the bike smoother and less physical to ride, so that it changes direction better.
I am excited to finish the European season here. For me we have been getting stronger and stronger every race since Imola, when I was fit again after my collarbone. The teams at SMR and Aprilia Racing have been working very hard together, and we are always developing the set up race by race. Hopefully we will have another strong weekend at Magny-Cours."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
FP1: 1'42.778 - P6
FP2: 1'43.152 - P7
FP3: 1'42.423 - P4
Combined result: 1'42.423 - P5
Superpole 2 automatic entry
"This was a really good day, especially compared to the test here last month; it’s been an incredible effort by the team. On my first flying lap today I went quicker than I did after 150 test laps, so I’m really happy with how the guys turned the bike around. They studied what was different on the bike this year compared to 2017, where we flew in the races.
In both tests since at Portimao we’ve struggled, and we’re lucky we had the test to realise that and put ourselves back in the action. At the test it felt like I was riding around the front wheel at the test and it wasn’t doing anything. The guys managed to get the balance better then and even more so today, and I finally feel like I’ve got the bike back in good form.
I’ll be aiming for a front row in Superpole 2 tomorrow, at least I can control where I start for Race 1. It will be a hard fight for the top three I’m sure, but a podium in the race would be great and to continue the streak of podiums from the last two rounds."