Difficult Race 1 for Milwaukee Aprilia at Donington Park
Donington Park, 27th May 2017
It was a tough day of racing for Milwaukee Aprilia at Donington Park on Saturday as Race 1 got underway at the team's home round. Riders Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty both scored points, but emphasised that big progress still needs to be made with the Aprilia RSV4 RF.
After a promising Superpole 1 session saw Eugene join Lorenzo in the pole position shootout, the team were hopeful for Race 1 as Eugene reached the second row of the grid in P6. Lorenzo's session was more difficult, where he lined up P12.
Lorenzo made a good start, getting past Torres on the first lap to take P11. He defended well against Torres, Lowes and Ramos, but due to his race pace falling he was unable to stop them passing. Catching team mate Eugene on lap 11, he made a pass to take 13th place before a crash ahead moved him up to 12th, where he brought the bike home with 4 points.
As the race started Eugene was forced wide at Turn 1 by Haslam, nearly collecting Lowes in the process. He quickly reasserted himself and set about chasing the leaders, scrapping with Melandri and Van der Mark. As he struggled with his bike however he dropped back into the pack, including team mate Lorenzo. Benefiting also from the crash ahead, he moved into 13th and held position to score 3 points.
The team now have Sunday morning's warm up session to prepare for Race 2, where they will line up in P11 and P13 for Eugene and Lorenzo respectively.
Lorenzo Savadori #32
Grid: P12 Race: P12, 4 points
Combined time: P8, 1'28.621
"We lost time today in FP3 because of the rain, so Superpole was a little bit more difficult for us. I still had similar problems from yesterday with front grip and feeling.
I made a good start in the race and my pace was OK, but it was really difficult for me to pass other riders. I wasn't able to defend either, so I tried my best to just hold my position. I made some places up at the end, but we should have finished higher.
We know how to fix some of the problems I have with the bike, but it is not a simple solution and we have to focus very hard tonight and in the warm up. I hope in Race 2 we can give the team a better result."
Eugene Laverty #50
Grid: P6 Race: P13, 3 points
Qualifying was good compared to practice yesterday, the bike felt great and I was able to consistently set good laps on the race tyre. I didn't get as much from the qualifying tyre as I did the race tyre, so I was optimistic for the race.
In the race start I was pushed wide at the first corner which cost me some places. I managed to fight back up to P6 and was having a good scrap with Fores and Melandri. After that though I really struggled, I had no rear grip and I just couldn't put the power down.
We've really got to put our heads together tonight and figure out how to get on top of these problems. Right now we have a lot of work to do for tomorrow, because today was not acceptable for us.