Double points finish for Milwaukee Aprilia in red-flagged Race 1 at Jerez
Circuito de Jerez, 21st October 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia riders Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty brought home a solid points haul for the team on Saturday at Jerez, finishing P7 and P8 respectively for a total of 17 valuable points.
The morning WorldSBK warm up session was delayed due to unexpected heavy fog at the Circuito de Jerez, but cleared for the Superpole 2 session and made way for hot and sunny conditions that held throughout the day.
Superpole 2 saw the Milwaukee Aprilia riders set their fastest lap times of the weekend, Lorenzo going fastest of the pair with a 1'39.776 lap which secured him P6 on the grid in row two, just over four tenths off P3. Eugene was close to his teammate's pace, setting a 1'39.839 that was good enough for P7 on row three.
The race got off to a dramatic start when a crash between Badovini and De Rosa at Turn 6 brought out the red flag. Using the quick restart procedure the bikes were back in action, Eugene and Lorenzo fighting in P7 and P8 on lap one. Eugene managed to save a near-highside at Turn X that caused him drop to P13.
Lorenzo was locked into a fight for P7 with Guintoli meanwhile, and managed to defend his position until Lap 6 when he was passed.Despite some front grip problems Lorenzo was able to maintain his pace in P8 until the end, and ultimately finished P7 with 9 points after a retirement for Melandri on Lap 15.
Eugene set about taking back his lost positions in fine style, making his way past Torres on Lap 7 for P12, followed by a pass on Mercado on Lap 9 for P11. He quickly overtook Ramos for P10 on Lap 13, and moved to P9 after Melandri's retirement. A pass on Fores on the penultimate lap completed Eugene's surge through the grid, and he finished P8 with 8 points.
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Grid: 1'39.776, P6
Race: P7, 9 points
"The conditions were a little different to yesterday in Free Practice, and the bike as a result felt different today. Superpole was not so bad, the second row was good for us and for sure we have more qualifying pace.
I struggled a little in the race, especially in the beginning when my lap times were slow. I had a long fight with Guintoli through the race, but I was happy that my pace was pretty consistent; the rhythm with the bike was better overall.
It was only the last two or three laps that I struggled a little bit, when the grip dropped. We have some work to do tomorrow in this area, and I think if we can complete these changes tonight and improve the bike then we will have a good result in Race 2. I will give my maximum effort because I know the bike is quick, and we have made good progress already."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Grid: 1'39.839, P7
Race: P8, 8 points
"Superpole wasn't too bad today, P7 wasn't an ideal position but it was a good gauge for our progress. My start was OK in the race but the red flag on the first lap disrupted the rhythm.
I had a big moment on lap 2 where I nearly crashed and that's where I lost most positions. I had to fight my way back through and that cost me some time. The positive is that at the end of the race I was one of the quickest guys on track, so that shows that we have solved our usual second-half problems where the bike goes away and the grip drops.
Now that our pace in the later stages of the race is better, I fell pretty good about Race 2. The progress has come since the test in Portimao last month and built on in France. It's clear we've made good steps with it and we can focus on out and out performance."