WSBK, ROUND 8 - LAGUNA SECA

WSBK, ROUND 8 - LAGUNA SECA

RACE 2

Double Top Eight finish for Milwaukee Aprilia in Race 2 at Laguna Seca
 
Milwaukee Aprilia riders Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori delivered solid point scoring performances in Race 2 at Laguna Seca, coming home P6 and P8 respectively.

Lining up P10 after his Race 1 retirement, Eugene made a rapid start and took the fight to his rivals, battling hard with Melandri and Camier as he made his way through the field. After passing Mercado on Lap 4 for 7th, he began to chase down Torres before the Spanish rider crashed out at Turn 1. Finding a comfortable groove with his Aprilia RSV4 RF he was closing down Fores in 5th place, but ran out of laps before he could make his move.

Lorenzo joined Eugene on row 4 for the race start in P12. After a steady getaway he got stuck into the midfield fight for points, racing close behind his teammate and Camier. With improved grip in the front after a trying Race 1, Lorenzo set a consistent pace and managed his tyres well. After problems for riders ahead of him, Lorenzo tried hard to chase down Mercado for 7th but ultimately settled for 8th place and 8 valuable points.

The WorldSBK series now heads into its summer break. The team will return to the track at Lausitzring in Germany later this month for a two-day test , ahead of Round 9 at the same circuit in August. With a busy schedule for the important test, they will work hard to further hone and improve the RSV4 RF ahead of the final five race weekends of 2017.

Mick Shanley, Team Manager
It's been a positive day for the team and a much improved race after yesterday's result. There were a few changes for both riders overnight and it was a solid, strong performance from them.
It was good for us to start a race and really move forward in it. It was tough yesterday after the pace we showed in Free Practice, but today showed that we are making good progress and have some really useful data to work with.
We have an important test coming up at Laustizring in a few weeks, and that will shape the back-half of the season for us. We can go into the summer break on a positive note, and look to come back strong for the last five rounds.

Eugene Laverty #50 / Grid - 10th / Race - 6th - 10 points
It was a positive result today considering that we had to start from P10, and the reverse grid rules didn't help us this time. I had some good scraps and I felt pretty comfortable on the bike.
The big improvement today was the front tyre; yesterday there was some problem with it that wasn't normal, but today it functioned correctly and I was able to push a lot more.
Perhaps 5th would have been on the cards if we'd started higher, but I still think that was our best race of the year. Heading to the test at Lausitzring we have a good basis from here to work with. The improvement on the front was a big benefit as we showed here in Free Practice, and our aim is to take another big forward step with the RSV4 RF.

 

Lorenzo Savadori #32 / Grid - 12th / Race 8th - 8 points
I'm quite happy with the result today. Even though P8 is not where we want to be, I was able to set some quick and consistent laps. When I caught the other riders I could stay in their rhythm, but I still found it hard to pass them.
We need to focus on the positives from this weekend. On Friday I struggled with the bike and rhythm, but we found some improvements and step by step I know that we can be even better for the next race.
We have a lot of work to do for the test at Lausitzring. There are some areas that we have struggled with recently that we need to make better, and I know that the team are working very hard to make sure we can improve for Germany.

RACE 1

Challenging start for Milwaukee Aprilia in Race 1 at Laguna Seca

Milwaukee Aprilia managed to recover 6 points from a disappointing Race 1 at Laguna Seca, with a 10th place finish for Lorenzo Savadori and a retirement for Eugene Laverty.
The Superpole sessions showed promise for the team, Lorenzo producing a strong display to go quickest in Superpole 1 session and join Eugene in the pole position shootout. Eugene, having run strongly in the Free Practice sessions, ended Superpole 2 P5 on the grid, his best qualifying result of the year. Lorenzo eventually finished P10, after a mistake cost him time on his quickest lap.
Eugene made a strong start in the race, maintaining his 5th position behind the frontrunners. However an issue with his front tyre caused him to lose grip and feeling, and eventually resulted in him crashing at Turn 3 before the half-way mark.
Lorenzo made a steady getaway, holding his own in the midfield and scrapping with the likes of Torres and Camier. With his own front grip issues, he was able to consolidate his place in 10th and take home 6 points for the team.
The team are still confident of a good showing in Race 2 on Sunday after the pace they have shown so far, and will give their full efforts tonight to ensure a deserved strong result tomorrow.

Mick Shanley, Team Manager
The outcome from the race wasn't representative of what we've achieved this weekend. Eugene has been consistently strong in Free Practice and he was fast in Superpole. Lorenzo struggled at first in practice but found speed today.
Unfortunately it seems we had a front tyre issue which didn't allow Eugene to push like he has the rest of the weekend, and ultimately ended up with him crashing, and that is something we need to investigate with Pirelli.
Lorenzo made a definite step forward today from yesterday. Superpole was a good performance from him on the race tyre, and we just need to find a little more pace and stability for him to push with. Overall it was a frustrating day after the promise shown, but we know we have speed and we'll see what we can achieve tomorrow.

Eugene Laverty #50 / Grid - 5th / Race - retired
All weekend we have been in the top 5 and it was really nice to consolidate that in Superpole today with our best result in P5. Our pace was what we hoped and expected, at the tail-end of the top four as they have been all year.
Unfortunately in the race, I got a good start but the front bikes were just running away. I had really bad feeling in the front and so little grip, and I was just trying to hold on before I dropped it just under half distance. It was very frustrating as the bike has felt great all weekend and then suddenly bad in the race. Pirelli are looking into it, because the tyre didn't look normal and may have been defective.
I don't want to tempt fate too much ahead of Race 2 because we should have run well today. Hopefully we can learn what caused the crash today; if it was a tyre issue then we know the bike is in a good position. The rear tyre was holding up well which it hasn't previously, so there are good points to take from today.

 

Lorenzo Savadori #32 / Grid - 10th / Race - 10th, 6 points
The Superpole sessions were not so bad today, especially compared to Free Practice yesterday. I made a good lap time in SP1 to go quickest, but in SP2 I made a mistake at the last corner and lost a quick lap time.
It wasn't easy to start P10 for the race. I tried to push at the beginning to make positions, but I had to be careful not to push too hard and damage the rear tyre. I found a good rhythm, but the front grip was getting lower and lower and I was riding right at the limit. It was really difficult to overtake because of this, but I was able to maintain position and take P10.
We need to stay positive because we know there is good speed to find. We were much quicker today that yesterday, and I will work hard with the guys tonight to make improvements for Race 2. We know a good direction to go in and it is important that we move forward.