Season-best finish for Milwaukee Aprilia in Race 1 at Donington
Donington Park, 27/5/18
Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty scored the best race result so far of 2018 for Milwaukee Aprilia with a strong P5 and P6 at Donington Park on Saturday.
The morning Superpole 2 session delivered a good qualifying for the team, Lorenzo and Eugene lining up P4 and P7 respectively in their best grid positions since Round 1 at Phillip Island.
At the race start Lorenzo took P3, with Baz struggling to get away. He was passed by Van der Mark and Lowes though Craner Cruves and moved to P5. From there on he settled into a strong rhythm, setting a series of consistent laps and staying within 4 seconds of the leaders all the way to the chequered flag. In the final stages Lorenzo closed right up on Lowes and got within 0.4 behind him, but ultimately ran out of laps to make a pass. With his best lap of 1’28.311 only 0.3s slower than the overall quickest lap, his encouraging form holds real promise for Race 2.
Eugene slipped back at the start and lost P7 to Razgatlioglu. Eugene gave chase and made his move on lap 3, passing him for P6. He then closed in on Baz, chasing for two laps before passing him in the final sector for P5. Like his teammate he showed consistency in lap time, a best lap of 1’28.480 only 0.169s off Lorenzo’s best. Crossing the finish line P6 behind Lorenzo, Eugene showed true resolve in only his third race since a return from injury, and will target an even better result on Sunday.
With their deserved and hard-earned result Lorenzo and Eugene will start Race 2 from the front row in P2 and P3, giving them a great opportunity to deliver on the promising pace of Race 1 and score another strong points finish for the team.
Race 2 at #UKWorldSBK starts at 13:00 GMT (CET +1) on Sunday 27th May
Shaun Muir - Team Principal
"Today was very good, probably our best team performance in the three years we’ve been in WorldSBK. We needed that lift and something that would really elevate us to the front, and P5 and P6 today has done that.
I think with a few more laps Lorenzo would have got P4, but for him and Eugene in P6 we’re happy with that and it’s exactly where we need to be. The team has a good place to build from going forward, and the whole team deserves this result.
We start P2 and P3 for the race tomorrow, and we hope for more of the same. If we can be within 3 or 4 seconds of the lead and Eugene can make some overnight changes to get him closer to the front pack, then we will be in a good place and look forward to Brno.”
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Superpole 2 result: 1'27.355 - P4 on grid
Race 1 result: P5 - 11 points
Best lap: 1'28.311
Race 2 grid: P2 - Row 1
"It was a difficult Superpole session for me. I didn’t find the extra grip with a new tyre and it was difficult to push. My start in Race 1 was OK but not great. I pushed hard and caught up with the riders ahead, but I lost a lot of time at the beginning.
We struggled in the middle and exit of the corners here and that really hurt me in the race. It made it difficult to pass riders ahead and is really important for us to fix.
Race 2 was not a good result. I struggled at the beginning with a full fuel tank and the balance, but I got quite a good rhythm and passed Sykes back as soon as he took me. Then on Lap 4 I lost the front at Turn 18 but I am not sure why. We had some grip problems in warm up today, more than yesterday. I am really sorry to the team for the crash, I was really pushing hard trying to catch the other riders but it wasn’t good enough today.
We need to keep improving more and more, and the team has been working hard all year to make the bike stronger. Donington should be a good weekend for us and I think the bike will work better there."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Superpole 2 result: 1'27.508 - P7 on grid
Race 1 result: P6, 10 points
Best lap: 1'28.480
Race 2 grid: P10, Row 4
"Superpole was really good for us, even though we should have been higher. I was angry with myself for losing the front at the final corner when I was looking good for P3. I lost so much time there and it was disappointing, but we made up for it in the race.
The race was better than we expected. I struggled yesterday to get life into the tyre and maintain consistency so I was a little worried for the race, but we kept a decent rhythm and sixth was a good result for us.
I think tomorrow’s race is weather-dependent. If it’s wet then obviously it’s a big opportunity and I’ll be going in no holds barred. If it’s dry then we need to work on our rear grip to hang on in the second half, but either way I’m feeling confident.”