Steady start for @eugenelaverty & @SMRWorldSBK in Imola Free Practice
Milwaukee Aprilia reached Superpole 2 for the 5th successive round of the WorldSBK championship after Imola Free Practice 1 & 2
After a strong weekend in Round 4 at Assen, the team headed to the Imola circuit for Round 5 and the first home race for Aprilia Racing and rider Lorenzo Savadori. With good weather throughout the day, the team worked through a busy schedule to build on their progress in the season’s first four rounds.
Eugene showed consistent pace from the start of FP1, running well and improving in the afternoon. A small crash resulted in delayed FP2 running for him, but his bike was quickly repaired and he returned to the track. He finished the day 10th overall and maintained the team’s 100% record of reaching Superpole 2 at every round in 2017.
Lorenzo had a more difficult day, struggling with grip and balance in both sessions. He finished the day 19th overall, which means he must take part in the Superpole 1 session. The team have a lot of data and settings to work through overnight, and will make the most of FP3 on Saturday to reach Superpole 2 ahead of Race 1 in the afternoon.
The action continues at #ItalianWorldSBK on Saturday with Free Practice 3 at 08:45 (GMT +1).
Mick Shanley, Team Manager
“It was a bit of an up-and-down day really. With Eugene things were positive, he was consistent in FP1 and then immediately quicker in FP2. He had a strange little crash which hurt the rhythm of the session. We’ve got a few things to work on to improve the balance of the bike, but we have some things to try and should be in a better position for FP3 and Superpole.
It’s one of Lorenzo’s home circuits, but he’s struggled today. Maybe it is a result of his crash in Assen, but there’s still something we need to find on his bike. Rest assured we’ll be working as hard as possible to try and find the answer for him tomorrow, and hopefully he can have a smoother day.”
Eugene Laverty #50
FP1 – P9, 1’48.355 FP2 – P9, 1’48.312
Combined – P10
“Free Practice was good this morning. The feeling was good, but in the afternoon the temperature went up and the bike didn’t feel the same. I went quicker, but I had a stupid crash which was disappointing. It felt like my bike again in FP1 like it did in Assen, but it’s still not quick enough. We’re still a long way behind the top four, so we’re in the fight for 5th/6th at the moment. We got straight into Superpole 2 again which was positive, so I’ll push hard to qualify well and hopefully be in a good place for Race 1.”
Lorenzo Savadori #32
FP1 – P17, 1’50.176 FP2 – P19, 1’49.844
Combined – P19
“We had a difficult time in practice today, and a few problems that we need to fix. I struggled with grip a lot and I couldn’t make fast laps at all, which was really a shame. At the moment I don’t know what the exact problem is, but we need to look at the data because there is a big issue somewhere on the bike. We still have FP3 to work on the bike, and we need to make sure we do well in Superpole 1. It’s really nice to be racing in front of the Italian fans again. The people are lovely and I feel a lot of support for me and the team, so I want to make sure we can get a good result tomorrow.”