WSBK, ROUND 11 - MAGNY COURS

WSBK, ROUND 11 - MAGNY COURS

RACE 2

Milwaukee Aprilia struggled in Race 2 at Magny-Cours on Sunday, with Eugene Laverty crashing on Lap 2 and Lorenzo Savadori retiring on the last lap.

Eugene fell at Turn 16 on the second lap while locked into a fight with Sykes for P4. Exiting the corner Eugene lost the rear but was able to keep his RSV4-RF running. He continued and had a lonely race to his finishing position of P18.

Lorenzo had a slow getaway initially and had fought his way through to P8 by Lap 2. After shadowing Sykes in P7 he made a strong pass on Lap 7, and was soon on the hunt for Melandri in P6. His rapid pace let him reel Melandri in, and on Lap 9 he made his move. A retirement for Camier promoted Lorenzo to P5, and he maintained his pace until the final lap, when a technical problem with his bike forced him to retire from what would have been a season-best finish of P5.

There are positives for the team to take from Round 11 at Magny-Cours, including Eugene's strong second-half surge in Race 1 and Lorenzo's much-improved Race 2 pace, which demonstrate the big progress made with the new generation of Aprilia RSV4-RF.

The team next head to Jerez for the penultimate round of the 2017 season, as development work begins to look towards 2018.

 

Lorenzo Savadori #32 / Grid - 12th / Race  - DNF, technical problem
The bike felt good today. I started quite far down the grid and my launch was not so great, and I lost time passing lots some of the other riders. There was still some rain on the track but I could still push.
I think we had the pace and rhythm to reach the podium today. The bike was setup similar to Friday Free Practice, and it felt consistent which helped me to keep moving forward and making passes.
It was unlucky for us that we experienced a technical problem on the last lap and had to retire, because our pace was really good. But we have learnt a lot of new things from this weekend and it is promising that we can race like today. We are looking forward to Jerez, and we are already working hard to achieve strong results there.

Eugene Laverty #50 / Grid - 3rd / Race - 18th
The rain was coming down the whole race today but we were still pushing. It was just on the limit of not enough rain to make a difference to the conditions, but my crash on Lap 2 was a surprise. When Sykes passed me at Turn 16 I opened the throttle a little more to cover, but I lost the rear and I didn't see it coming.
I got the bike started again and continued, but it was very frustrating to go out so early after a positive race in the wet yesterday. It's hard to say how far I could have got after a lap and a half. I was maybe a bit too tentative in some of the cold left-hand corners because of the weather, but my Sector 1 time on the first lap was second quickest so it showed we had pace we'll never know for sure.
We've made big strides overall this weekend, and the progress in Race 1 was the first time we managed that. There are positives to take from that and with four races left we will work to end the season in good shape.

RACE 1

The inclement wet weather at Magny-Cours started with a downpour on Saturday morning which persisted until the afternoon. The Superpole 2 pole position shootout ran in full wet conditions, posing a challenge for all riders. Several riders including Rea and Melandri fell early in the session, before Milwaukee Aprilia riders Eugene and Lorenzo also fell, all at different corners of the track. The riders finished the session P9 and P11 respectively.

The rain had stopped before the race start, but the track was still wet and needed caution from the riders. Eugene and Lorenzo struggled off the line with low grip, and had to avoid debris from a crash involving other riders on Lap 2. They raced each for position in P10 and P11 respectively, before Eugene was able to find pace and begin moving forward in aggressive style.

As the track came to him Eugene passed Torres for P9 on Lap 6 which he held for 8 laps, before passing Davies for P8 on Lap 15. He soon overtook Giugliano for P7 on Lap 18, before passing Mercado at the finish line for his finishing position of P6.

Lorenzo had a more difficult race, unable to fully unlock the pace of his RSV4-RF in the slippery conditions. He was able to hold onto P11 from Lap 3, and brought home 5 valuable points and a wealth of data to use in preparation for Race 2

Mick Shanley, Team Manager
It was a very difficult Superpole 2 session, and it certainly accentuated the issue that we have in low-grip situations where the bike struggles. Both riders crashing made it a difficult period for us to get ready for the race, but the team worked incredibly hard and it was a real team effort to get both bikes on the grid ready to race.
To salvage a reasonable result and good pace at the end is definitely a positive we have to take from today. We learnt a lot during the race which should stand us in good stead for Race 2, and we will use it to shape the direction we go in.
We were lucky that both riders were physically fit after their crashes, and it was just a difficult day for a lot of people. To come away with 6th for Eugene and 11th for Lorenzo was a good, if lucky, result and we'll do our best tomorrow.

Eugene Laverty #50
Superpole 2: P9, 1'59.637
Race 1: P6, 10 points

Superpole was a really difficult session. I just had no grip at the rear and that's what caused me to crash, and we couldn't learn much in that time.
The race start was a disaster, it was like riding on ice for the first few laps because the tyres just weren't working. When it was fully wet I had no grip at the rear and the bike was so difficult to ride. About half way into the race it started to dry out, and the second half was much stronger. I was able to find rear grip and I was able to move forwards, and I made some good passes on the way.
If it's wet tomorrow we know what to do, and the same if it's dry; we know where to go with the bike. We need to get that 'push' onto the rear tyre which should make a big difference, and I know we can do better in Race 2.

 

Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Superpole 2: P11, 2'04.679
Race 1: P11, 5 points

I had a big crash in Superpole 2 at Turn 7, because the track was so wet and I had very little grip. I didn't feel 100% after but I wanted to race.
In the race I struggled to find a feeling and a rhythm with the bike, and It wasn't easy for me. The start was difficult and I lost some positions, and I was fighting with Eugene briefly. The bike was not very different today to yesterday in Free Practice, but today we just had problems getting the correct setup. I could not do much, and P11 was OK for points but not what we wanted.
More or less every time it is the same when we have no grip, and the bike is so difficult to handle. The wet did not help us and when it started to dry we were quicker for sure, but we still need to make sure we have a better setup for Race 2.