Portuguese championship: troubled start for the "luso-italian armada"
The start of the 2020 National Speed Championship took place this weekend at the Estoril Racetrack, much to the joy of the motorcycle community.
Riders and teams were treated to mostly sunny weather, but on the last day of the start of the season S.Peter remembered to give everyone a brief "refresh of spirits", after this wait imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Eni Aprilia Portugal Racing Team started the championship at full throttle, in an enhanced formation, but saw Tiago Magalhães suffer an rather acrobatic crash at the Curva da Orelha on Friday, on the official FMP practice day.
Magalhães was unharmed from the crash, but saw his RSV4 RF suffer some damage that ended up dictating his non-participation in the initial race of the CNV Moto 2020.
João Diogo Silva and Filipe Lourenço continued their work in search of results, albeit with a kind of "bike jet lag" due to this interregnum prolonged by the pandemic.
Filipe Azevedo, the newest member of the Lisbon team, has begun his process of adapting to the Aprilia RSV4 RF, and is committed to stepping up his performance and occupying top positions on the Dunlop Motoval Cup grid.
Tiago Magalhães - SBK #19
"Very difficult weekend! On Friday, when I was getting into the rhythm, I suffered a crash that conditioned the work on track for the rest of the day and instead forced my technicians to rebuild my Aprilia RSV4 RF. Saturday morning I entered confident and fast but a technical problem derived from the fall forced my abandonment in this start of the season with zero points in both races.We'll come back even stronger in the next race in Portimão! Many thanks to all the sponsors and staff for all the support!"
João Diogo Silva - SBK #15
"It was a positive weekend where I managed to break personal records with the best lap in 1:44.14. In the first race I missed the start, which caused me to waste too much time and compromised the fight for the top 6. Already in the second race I got a sixth place, which made me satisfied but with the feeling of being able to do better.Now is to continue working for the next race that is already in Portimão in 15 days! Thank you for the tireless support of my family, team and sponsors!"
Filipe Lourenço - SBK #93
"In this first stage of Estoril we aimed to find a good rhythm again, and that is what we worked for. With each entry on the track the times improved and confidence with the RSV4 RF was increasingly noticeable! We got P11 in qualifying with a time of 1:46.185! In the first race we had some problems with the rear tyre temperature, which caused me to slow down and some confidence ending up in P10! In the second race we knew we had to start strong and try to go with a faster group where I ended up doing the race at a good pace riding in the second 46 low and beating my personal record with a 1:45.368 reaching 9th position! It was a positive weekend that gets us motivated for the next round in Portimão in two weeks! Thank you to all sponsors, staff and family!"
Filipe Azevedo - CDM #79
"We knew that we would encounter some difficulties this weekend, we had set a strong pre-season but that due to the pandemic we could not accomplish. Friday of training with a lot of muscle pain that made it impossible for me to feel comfortable on the bike, we ended the day of practice with some doubts for the races at the weekend but we never lowered our arms. After some physical release, we went to the timed practices with some pace and we managed to even beat my record at Estoril, we were confident for the race and we started from P15. I got a good start but as the race went on again the muscle pain and the goal was just to finish the race. We did a good Warm Up by lowering the times again, we started for the second race confident and gained some positions early on. After the first lap was shown the red flag due to a fall at turn 1 forcing a new start. We won some positions again, we were in a good race but due to a track exit, we lost some places to which it made it difficult for us to get back to the top 10 group. Overall it was a positive weekend that gave us good prospects for the next races and the next one to be held in two week's time at the Algarve International Circuit. I want to thank my team, family and friends for the tireless support they have given me all weekend."