WSBK, ROUND 10 - PORTIMAO

WSBK, ROUND 10 - PORTIMAO

Savadori and Laverty take solid points finish from Race 2 at Portimao.

After the disappointment of Race 1 which saw record-breaking pole sitter Eugene taken out by another rider and Lorenzo crash, Milwaukee Aprilia were prepared for a tough fightback on Sunday.

Due to their DNFs Eugene and Lorenzo lined up P10 and P11 respectively in the thick of the midfield action. At the start both riders lost out to Camier behind who took P9. A mechanical issue for him however dropped him out of the running, Lorenzo passing him at the start of Lap 2 with Eugene following.

They ran together before a retirement for Razgatlioglu ahead promoted everyone from P7. They then chased down Baz in seventh, Lorenzo passing on Lap 8 and Eugene following suit on Lap 12 to take P8.

Lorenzo began to create gap to his teammate, closing in fast on Rinaldi. With four laps left he made a passing move which stuck, and was gearing up to fight Sykes for P5 before deciding to manage a front vibration problem and consolidate his finishing position of P6. Eugene had a lonely end of the race, chasing Rinaldi and passing him at the death on the last lap to come home P7 behind his teammate.

With a weekend result that is not representative of the strong progress and development the team have made in recent rounds, Milwaukee Aprilia continue to push hard for more podium finishes with both riders as the season enters its final three races.

 Shaun Muir - Team Principal

"It was a long difficult race today. The track temperature was a little higher than yesterday which hurt Lorenzo particularly, he couldn’t reproduce the full speed he had yesterday.
It was a missed opportunity perhaps, but we consolidated yesterday’s problems and DNFs with two good points positions. We were only 11 seconds off the front at the end, we’d like to close that down and we had the pace to be top 4. The starting position today hurt us and it took us too long to pass Rinaldi and Baz, and we paid the price for it.
We had good form at Magny-Cours last year, the weather was pretty changeable but there is a good base for us to work from for that weekend. We needed the races today to give each rider back their confidence, and I expect to see them fighting from the start of FP1.".

Eugene Laverty #50
Race 2 grid: P10 - Row 4
Race 2 result: P7 - 9 points

"The race was really tough. The guys I was battling with had so much rear grip and suddenly it got difficult. It felt like I was riding on ice and I was so gentle getting off the brakes and touching the gas. Opening it up 100% was so difficult and it just didn’t feel like I was really racing the bike.
We know that our bike is good now and this track is quite slippy; anywhere where the rear tyre life drops off we struggle. I can’t make the rear push quite as much as Lorenzo who’s bigger, but that is something we will address in Magny-Cours.
Not having race data from yesterday definitely hurt us in the race today. Qualifying was a great feeling but I knew we still had to push hard in the races. I had some fantastic laps this weekend where I didn’t even have to work hard, so the aim is to get that feeling again next round.".


Lorenzo Savadori #32
Race 2 grid: P11 - Row 4
Race 2 result: P6 - 10 points

"When you start a race in P11 it’s never a good position to be in, but scoring points was a good result for us. I had a good start but I struggled a little at the beginning to pass. I finally made it up to P6 and I thought I could challenge Sykes for P5, but I started to get a strange vibration in the front which we need to investigate.
It was then really difficult for me to keep the bike stable for the rest of the race, and I must also change something in my style for arrival and exit of the corners to improve this. I lost a bit of time fighting with Rinaldi and we must also work to be quicker passing riders at the start of the race, to make progress quicker.
I hope to continue our development at Magny-Cours, and I hope we are closer to the podium ad big points. We were not far off this weekend and of course Eugene was quick too which is good for the team, so for sure I think we can have a good round.”

Laverty takes record-breaking pole position ahead of heartbreaking Race One at Portimao

Milwaukee Aprilia claimed a record-breaking maiden WorldSBK pole position on Saturday with Eugene Laverty ahead of crashes for both riders in Race 1

With Lorenzo Savadori joining his teammate in the pole position shootout after a superb lap of 1'41.457 on the race tyre, the team's hopes were high of a strong qualifying. The riders delivered in style, Eugene quickly flying to the top of the pile before the field boxed for fresh qualifying tyres. He then took a huge chunk off his best effort and eclipsed the previous pole record of 1'41.360 by -0.655s with a lap of 1'40.705, taking his first pole position in five years and the first ever pole for Milwaukee Aprilia in the Superbike World Championship. Lorenzo was likewise in scintillating form, consistently lapping near record pace before taking a strong P4 only +0.196s behind his teammate.

From the first and second rows the team looked set to mount a serious podium challenge with both riders. Eugene made a good getaway but Rea and Melandri behind were quicker, pushing him to P3. As the field concertinaed into Turn 1 Lorenzo slipped past Eugene, whose race was then cruelly ended prematurely when Fores, unable to slow his bike in time for Turn 3, slid into Eugene and took them both out of the race.

Lorenzo pushed hard and hounded Melandri for P2, consistently lapping within 0.5s of his compatriot. He managed the gap well and was lining up an attack but more drama was to follow, when just 9 laps from the end Lorenzo made a mistake at Turn 1 and crashed out of the race into retirement.

For Race 2 Eugene and Lorenzo line up P10 and P11 respectively on Row 4, under the reverse grid rules and DNFs on Saturday. With very strong pace demonstrated on Saturday however they will be a sure threat as they battle through the field targeting a podium finish. 

Eugene Laverty #50
Superpole 2: 1'4'.705 - Pole position
Race 1 result: DNF

"It was incredible to do a 1'40 lap around here, I didn't think it possible. I didn't benefit from anyone else making a mistake or other gifts which was good, I did it by myself and just focused on the track and getting all the potential out of the bike. We really understand this bike well now and I'm looking forward to the end of season races.
I felt I made a good start in the race but Johnny and Marco were really quick off the line and jumped ahead. We got bunched up at Turn 1 which let Lorenzo through and I was unfortunate to be the guy that Fores took out. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time basically.
It's heartbreaking for the guys to have such a high like a pole position and then a race that last 3 corners. It's equally painful to start Race 1 from pole with such potential and then start Race 2 from P10, but that gives me motivation to through everything at it tomorrow. I'm not going to rule out a podium, I want to make a good start and if I can stay with the guys ahead of me for the first few laps I think I can cut through and score well."

Lorenzo Savadori #32
Superpole 2 result: 1'40.901 - P4
Race 1 result: P6 - DNF

"I was really pleased to make Superpole 2 this morning. I pushed hard in SP1 and set a really quick time, and then to take P4 in the second session only +0.196 from Eugene in pole was great for us.
Of course I am not happy with how the race ended. I was in third position and fighting with all of myself and all of the bike to make the podium. That was our target today and for sure it was possible, but I felt a little like I was really at the limit. I pushed too hard and crashed, and I want to say thanks to everyone at SMR and Aprilia Racing for their work to improve the bike from P14 yesterday.
I am looking forward to tomorrow and another chance to fight. It is unfortunate I have to start P11 in Race 2, but we will work very hard to make another step tonight and I hope we can challenge for a podium again.”