A weekend of mixed fortune for Milwaukee Aprilia in San Juan.
Circuito San Juan Villicum , 14/10/18
Points across the board for Laverty and Savadori.
After placing himself on the front row of the grid in qualifying Laverty had his eyes firmly set on a podium finish. Lorenzo starting in P8 had some work to do if he was to mount a challenge on the top 6.
Race 1 and Eugene got off to a difficult start seeing him drop two places to P5 after a near collision with No.7 Davies and 66 of Tom Sykes. Laverty however settled into a good rhythm early on and managed regain a position with a slip-streaming move on Lowes down the back straight for P4. Closing the gap to Tom Sykes in P3 Laverty replicated his previous move putting him into a rostrum position.
Laverty's pace seemed to drop after lap 7 and with a charging Razgatlioglu behind him he dropped a position going into T1 on Lap 13. With Toprak, Laverty and Sykes battling it out for P3 this gave an opportunity for Spaniard Fores to close the gap on the trio and on the penultimate lap managed to edge out Eugene for P4. Final Race position P5. 11 Points
Lorenzo similarly didn’t get the best of starts losing two positions on the opening lap to Fores and local man Mercardo. Despite getting a poor start Savadori gained a position on Lap 4 after No. 36 Mercado crashed out in front of him now in P9. Lorenzo’s day however would be unluckily cut short after a stone got jammed between his sprocket and chain resulting in shredding the teeth on the sprocket forcing him to retire on Lap 14.
Milwaukee Aprilia's bad luck continued into Race 2 when Eugene Laverty crashed out of second place on lap 3. Despite getting a good start Eugene couldn’t match the pace of pole sitter Fores and lost the front going into T6 prematurely ending his race.
After being forced to retire from race 1 Lorenzo was looking to add points to the board in race 2. Starting from P10 he got off to a solid start and gained a position passing Kawasaki's Tom Sykes and inheriting a position from luckless team mate Laverty.
Sitting in P8 on lap 13 Lorenzo managed to consistently lap 1'40.6's throughout the remaining of the race bringing home 8 points. Final Race position P8.
The final race of the 2018 WSBK season will take place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on the 25/10/18.
Shaun Muir - Team Principal
"Qualifying was obviously good to get both riders through to SP2. Eugene had a solid session and I’m happy with his front row start. It’s disappointing that the larger tyre hasn’t been available for Lorenzo this weekend, as he has really struggled to get used the smaller diameter tyre which has been reflected in his lap times.
"Great race for Eugene. He had good pace up until about lap 7 where his tyre started to loose grip which was expected, overall I’m happy and it puts him on the front row for tomorrow’s race. Eugene has struggled in the last two sectors of the track but we have some good positive changes to make for tomorrows race so he’s got a good shot at the podium."
"Lorenzo had a really unlucky race today with a stone jamming between his sprocket and chain causing him to pit, despite that he also managed to collect good data from the early laps so I’m expecting him to challenge the top 6 in tomorrows’ race."
"Really disappointing for Eugene in race 2, he had a good morning warm up and with the changes he made to the bike we were all expecting a challenge for a podium. Lorenzo again struggling with the larger tyre for the second race but positive to pick up a few points. We've got to pick ourselves up and go to Qatar ending the season on a high."
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Race 1 grid: P8 - Row 3
Race 1 result: DNF - 0 points
Race 2 grid: P10 - Row 4
Race 2 result: P8 - 8 points
Total weekend points: 8
"I’m not really happy as I am struggling to turn the bike and at this circuit it is very important. The biggest problem for me is coming from the last few races with the bigger tyre and developing the bike with the bigger tyre so having to use the smaller tyre here in Argentina has been difficult."
"Race 1 was difficult for me as I had a problem with the sprocket so I had to retire. We learnt a lot from the race and we can take a lot of information into tomorrow for Race 2.
"Race 2 was difficult but I was pushing to the maximum, we were fighting a lot in the opening laps and because of this we lose the group ahead. I look forward to Qatar now and i hope that the larger tyre is available because we know we can be faster with this option."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Race 1 grid: P3 - Row 1
Race 1 result: P5 - 11 points
Race 2 grid: P2 - Row 1
Race 2 result: DNF - 0 points
Total weekend points: 11
"We were riding so strong in Race 1 and to just miss out 3rd is of course disappointing. The second half of the race was tough as the balance of the bike wasn't quite right but we have some good information to build on for tomorrow’s race.
"I’m disappointed to crash out of race 1 so early. Xavi Fores was so fast in the early laps I couldn't match his pace at the start so I had to ride at my own rhythm and I just lost the front going into T6. We knew from superpole that if the track rose above 50°c that the front tyre would be sketchy and that ultimately caught us out today."
"We've been getting stronger and stronger since my injury so let’s keep this momentum going and finish the season on a high in Qatar."