Pole position shootout for Milwaukee Aprilia after strong Portimao Free Practice

Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, 14/9/18


Milwaukee Aprilia made a strong start in Round 10 of the Superbike World championship at Portimao, securing another automatic pole shootout entry.

The team finished Friday’s Free Practice an encouraging P5 with Eugene Laverty, while teammate Lorenzo Savadori had a tougher day at the office and finished P14.

Work on the balance of his bike gave Eugene a solid platform to work with, which he used to set a series of consistent race runs and laps to finish in the top six with a shot at pole position.

Lorenzo struggled to find rhythm with his bike meanwhile, despite setting the third fastest time in the second practice session. A small crash in FP3 on the oil dropped by Chaz Davies’s fall set Lorenzo back a little for repairs, but the team were able to repair his bike in time to gather more data. With a chance for more running in FP4 ahead of Superpole 1, Lorenzo has a good opportunity to join his teammate in the pole position fight.

Three weeks on from the mid-season test at Portimao in August, the team have taken a big step forward in pace and look set to offer a serious challenge to the front end of the grid for points on Saturday and Sunday.

Free Practice 4 at #PortimaoWorldSBK takes place on Saturday 15th September at 08:45 local time (GMT +1), ahead of Superpole at 10:30 and Race 1 at 13:00.

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."

Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF

FP1: 1'43.454 - P14

FP2: 1'42.969 - P3

FP3: 1'43.070 - P14

Combined result: 1'42.969 - P14
Superpole 1 entry

"It was a very strange day, unfortunately in FP3 I crashed on the oil from Chaz [Davies], and I lost some time for repairs. In general I am of course not very happy with P14, we need to make a big step for tomorrow.

For me the track feels different this weekend to the test last month, and it is worse for me on the bike. I’m not sure why but for sure we need to investigate it and improve my rhythm.

The first goal of course is to try and make SP2, it will not be easy with Chaz also in SP1 but if we have a good bike then we can fight for a good start position. For the race, I will wait to see how Superpole goes first but I hope we can get a strong points position."

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