Milwaukee Aprilia riders show good pace in Free Practice at Losail
Losail International Circuit, 02/11/17
Milwaukee Aprilia confirmed their place in Superpole 2 for the last round of the 2017 WorldSBK series at Losail in Qatar on Friday. Riders Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori finished the day P9 and P10 respectively, but experienced a tough day of running.
Riding under the Losail floodlights, the team worked through a number of programs ahead of Saturday's qualifying and race. Free Practice 1 was encouraging, Eugene going P6 ahead of his teammate in P7. Free Practice 2 brought promising pace from the riders, Eugene topping the speed trap results with a speed of 316.7 km/h and underlining the raw speed of the Aprilia RSV4-RF. He experienced issues with rear grip that hindered his pace however, and he finished the day a combined P9.
Lorenzo demonstrated some rapid lap times, frequently troubling the top 6 and looking set to take an impressive P3 before he fell at Turn 16. He was able to restart and return to the box, where the team turned the bike around quickly and sent him back out to complete his program. He was on the pace immediately, looking set to take a clear P3 before falling again at the end of the session, this time at Turn 14. He returned to the pits and finished Friday a combined P10, secured in Superpole 2 with his teammate.
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Free Practice 1: 1'58.838, P6
Free Practice 2: 1'58.757, P9
Combined Free Practice result: P9
“FP1 wasn't so bad, but I was really having to ride on the limit to stay in the top six, which is never a nice feeling. We did a lot of work with the deceleration of the bike to get it stopped quicker, but it's an area that still needs improving.
Rear grip was an issue in FP2, I think it was for everybody after the red flag delay which made the surface quite slippery. We got through to Superpole 2 which was positive, but for sure we need to work on these problems tonight.
We worked well today and we tried some different settings, but the bike didn't respond how we wanted and that was frustrating. The guys have some ideas to work with and I am sure they will be able to give me something good tomorrow."
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Free Practice 1: 1'59.006, P7
Free Practice 2: 1'59.303, P13
Combined Free Practice result: P10
"FP2 wasn't easy at all for me. I crashed twice doing my fastest lap both times, and the dynamic of the crash was exactly the same; I was losing rear grip.
That was a problem all day which was difficult to rider with, and the front was moving around a little bit too. We need to improve both the stopping performance and cornering performance also, which will be very important in the race.
Superpole 2 will be important for us because when I used the soft tyre when I crashed, but I was also fast, so we must improve tonight to make a step forward and I know the team will try their hardest."