Positives taken for Milwaukee Aprilia in damage limiting Race 2
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit , 25/2/18
Milwaukee Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty had to settle for a single consolation point in Race 2 at Phillip Island after crashing out of the lead
A fast start from P5 on the grid moved Eugene into third behind Fores and Rea by Turn 2. Pushing hard before the mandatory pit window opened on Lap 10 Eugene passed both riders at Turn 4 to take first place before the first lap was over, stretching a gap of 1.119s over Rea.
As the chasing pack battled for position, Eugene held his pace to end the second lap 1.227s ahead of Camier. With promising speed, Eugene looked set for a strong finish before his rear tyre gave up its grip on lap 3 and high-sided him at Turn 6. He was able to start his bike and rejoin however, pitting for new tyres and bodywork repairs to see out the race in P15 to take a conciliatory point for the team.
Despite a disappointing points haul from Round 1, the team have demonstrated a massive step in performance with the Aprilia this weekend, consistently challenging the traditional front runners in every session at Phillip Island. With rider Lorenzo Savadori set to recover from injury and return to his duties at the next race, the team can look forward to another opportunity to challenge at the front.
The WorldSBK season now heads to the Chang circuit in Buriram, Thailand for Round 2 from 23-25 March.
Shaun Muir - Team Principal
"We're really disappointed with how we finished overall after ten hard days, but we have to be positive. No one is more disappointed than our riders, Lorenzo of course who got bitten hard in his Superpole crash and for that we have to be thankful that it wasn't a worse injury.
Eugene had a bad Race 1, but made some good setting changes overnight. He had a blinding start in Race 2, felt really comfortable on it and could have ridden it like that for the whole race. It was really pleasing to see him barge and elbow his way to the front.
It was a bittersweet weekend overall. We've certainly shown our potential and that the whole Milwaukee Aprilia team with Aprilia Racing and SMR is working really well. We have many races left and I'm sure that the podium and first race win we're chasing hard are not far away."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Race 2 result:
P15 - 1 point