Milwaukee Aprilia recover good points finish from tough Superpole at Magny-Cours
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, 30th September 2017
The inclement wet weather at Magny-Cours started with a downpour on Saturday morning which persisted until the afternoon. The Superpole 2 pole position shootout ran in full wet conditions, posing a challenge for all riders. Several riders including Rea and Melandri fell early in the session, before Milwaukee Aprilia riders Eugene and Lorenzo also fell, all at different corners of the track. The riders finished the session P9 and P11 respectively.
The rain had stopped before the race start, but the track was still wet and needed caution from the riders. Eugene and Lorenzo struggled off the line with low grip, and had to avoid debris from a crash involving other riders on Lap 2. They raced each for position in P10 and P11 respectively, before Eugene was able to find pace and begin moving forward in aggressive style.
As the track came to him Eugene passed Torres for P9 on Lap 6 which he held for 8 laps, before passing Davies for P8 on Lap 15. He soon overtook Giugliano for P7 on Lap 18, before passing Mercado at the finish line for his finishing position of P6.
Lorenzo had a more difficult race, unable to fully unlock the pace of his RSV4-RF in the slippery conditions. He was able to hold onto P11 from Lap 3, and brought home 5 valuable points and a wealth of data to use in preparation for Race 2.
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Superpole 2: P9, 1'59.637
Race 1: P6, 10 points
“Superpole was a really difficult session. I just had no grip at the rear and that's what caused me to crash, and we couldn't learn much in that time.
The race start was a disaster, it was like riding on ice for the first few laps because the tyres just weren't working. When it was fully wet I had no grip at the rear and the bike was so difficult to ride. About half way into the race it started to dry out, and the second half was much stronger. I was able to find rear grip and I was able to move forwards, and I made some good passes on the way.
If it's wet tomorrow we know what to do, and the same if it's dry; we know where to go with the bike. We need to get that 'push' onto the rear tyre which should make a big difference, and I know we can do better in Race 2."
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Superpole 2: P11, 2'04.679
Race 1: P11, 5 points
"I had a big crash in Superpole 2 at Turn 7, because the track was so wet and I had very little grip. I didn't feel 100% after but I wanted to race.
In the race I struggled to find a feeling and a rhythm with the bike, and It wasn't easy for me. The start was difficult and I lost some positions, and I was fighting with Eugene briefly. The bike was not very different today to yesterday in Free Practice, but today we just had problems getting the correct setup. I could not do much, and P11 was OK for points but not what we wanted.
More or less every time it is the same when we have no grip, and the bike is so difficult to handle. The wet did not help us and when it started to dry we were quicker for sure, but we still need to make sure we have a better setup for Race 2."
Mick Shanley, Team Manager
"It was a very difficult Superpole 2 session, and it certainly accentuated the issue that we have in low-grip situations where the bike struggles. Both riders crashing made it a difficult period for us to get ready for the race, but the team worked incredibly hard and it was a real team effort to get both bikes on the grid ready to race.
To salvage a reasonable result and good pace at the end is definitely a positive we have to take from today. We learnt a lot during the race which should stand us in good stead for Race 2, and we will use it to shape the direction we go in.
We were lucky that both riders were physically fit after their crashes, and it was just a difficult day for a lot of people. To come away with 6th for Eugene and 11th for Lorenzo was a good, if lucky, result and we'll do our best tomorrow."