WSBK, ROUND 2 - CHANG

WSBK, ROUND 2 - CHANG

RACE 2

Milwaukee Aprilia faced another difficult race in Round 2 at Chang with a 15th and a DNF

Starting 10th and 12th respectively after their results in Race 1, Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori again made solid getaways to stay with the pack and make up places.

Eugene ran consistently in 6th before a red flag for a crash by teammate Lorenzo forced a restart. He then ran strongly in 5th place, but an unfortunate error caused him to drop his bike and rejoin in 16th place. He recovered to finish the race 15th with 1 point.

After a technical problem in Race 1 hurt his pace, Lorenzo suffered another, separate issue on lap 4 in Race 2. The problem resulted in a dramatic crash and a red flag for Lorenzo, who lost 8th place and was forced to retire. He visited the Medical Centre for treatment, but was deemed healthy and will be fit to race in Round 3 at Aragon.

The team now heads for Round 3 in Spain for the European stint of the 2017 season.

They have a raft of exciting upgrades to test at the Motorland Aragon circuit in 3 weeks’ time, which they will use to achieve another step in performance and fight for better results.

Round 3 of the 2017 season takes place at Motorland Aragon in Spain from 31st March - 2nd April.

Mick Shanley, Team Manager
It’s been a disappointing and difficult weekend for the team. We’ve shown promise and good speed, but at the moment there are a few other issues that aren’t allowing us to fulfil our potential.
We’ll leave here to lick our wounds and analyse the weekend’s data in full, and we will work hard with Aprilia to understand why we have these issues.
For Aragon we’ve already got a few things in the pipeline, so we need to wipe the slate clean, regroup and come back fighting in Round 3.

Eugene Laverty #50 / Grid - 7th / Race - 15th
The first half of the race was difficult as I started so far back, so I was extra aggressive to make up places. I was braking harder than usual in some places and worked the front hard, and in a way the red flag gave me time to regroup.
After the restart the conditions were slippery so the front tyre was moving a lot. I had a lot of warnings and I tried to settle into my position, but I lost the front so many times and finally after 8 laps I crashed.
It’s not nice to ride like this where you can’t push 100% without crashing, but we know where we have to improve. We’ve had so little time between Phillip Island and Chang to develop, but we’ve got some upgrades and new ideas coming for Aragon and I’m confident that we can make a big step forward.

 

Lorenzo Savadori #32 / Grid - 12th / Race - DNF
It has not been an easy weekend for me, with different technical issues in Race 1 and Race 2. Today I started far back which meant I had to push, but I was in the fight for a few laps.
I had a technical problem which led to me to crash; I am not sure yet exactly what happened, and is something we need to look at. The crash was pretty big, but I am OK and I am thankful to my helmet, suit
We are looking forward to Aragon now. We have some hard work to do to move forward, but I know that I am in good hands with SMR and Aprilia Racing. There are new things for us to try in Spain, and I think we will make good progress.

RACE 1

Milwaukee Aprilia had a tough first race at the Chang circuit for Round 2 of the World Superbike Championship.

Ahead of Race 1 the team performed well in qualifying, with Lorenzo Savadori joining teammate Eugene Laverty in Superpole 2 after a strong performance in Superpole 1.

Lining up on the grid 7th an 9th respectively, Eugene and Lorenzo made good starts in the race and maintained their positions as they fought with the pack.

Both riders had consistent pace, before separate technical issues caused them to slow. Lorenzo successfully held onto 13th place. 

Shaun Muir, Team Principal
Today wasn't meant to be for us. Eugene fought really hard for his 7th place which would have earned us valuable points, but unfortunately he had a technical issue with half a lap to go. We still got some useful data from his race, and we'll recover tonight and be ready strong for tomorrow.
Lorenzo had an issue after Superpole 2 and struggled with his wheel balance, which he had throughout the race. He couldn't get into a rhythm because of that and had to fight to bring it home in the points.
Both riders and the team will work for some positive changes tonight and sleep on it, and we'll do our best to do better tomorrow. 

Lorenzo Savadori #32 / Grid - 9th / Race - 13th
It was a difficult race today. I was glad to get into Superpole 2 and fight in the top 10, and our lap times were OK.
At the start of the race I held my place, but I started to get some vibrations from the bike and I had to really fight to finish with it. I lost a lot of positions toward the end and finished 13th, which was disappointing.
We need to check the data tonight for sure to make some progress, because we have found some good and useful things this weekend. We will work hard tonight and in the warm-up tomorrow to be ready for the race.

Eugene Laverty #50 / Grid - 7th / Race - Technical Problem
I was pretty happy with how Superpole went, and we found some good pace from Practice. In the race I was gong well for the first few laps, the rhythm was OK and I was able to go with the guys in front.
In the middle of the race I had some vibrations which slowed me down but I held onto the position. Then on the last lap the bike broke which was disappointing. The guys will find out exactly what happened, but it was terminal and stopped my race.
I've got more optimism for tomorrow. We've been making fairly big steps forward all weekend, even if the results don't show it. Today showed that our race pace is improving, and I think we can push that further and do better in Race 2 tomorrow.