It was a mixed Race 1 for Milwaukee Aprilia at Imola, with Lorenzo Savadori scoring more points and Eugene Laverty retiring following a crash.Saturday’s Superpole sessions were promising for the team, Eugene qualifying an encouraging P6 after going straight to Superpole 2 from Free Practice. Lorenzo also made the SP2 cut after a strong lap in the first qualifying session, lining up 10th on the grid despite struggling with his bike so far this weekend.
Lorenzo suffered a slow start, dropping to 13th place initially. Although his pace was not fast it was consistent, and he held position for most of the race. With the bike coming back to him towards the end of the race, he forced a pass on the Kawasaki of De Angelis and brought the bike home in 12th.
Eugene had a good getaway and quickly took fifth place. Although he couldn’t manage the pace of the top four he ran well in the middle of the field, enjoying battles with the Ducati of Fores and the MV Agusta of Camier. As his pace dropped Eugene fell towards the Yamahas of Van der Mark and Lowes, defending well against both until a late move from Lowes resulted in a contact of the bikes. Eugene’s bike suffered a broken front brake line and he was unable to slow as he approached Turn 17, but managed to jump from his bike at high speed and avoided a collision with the wall. He visited the Medical Centre for precautionary checks but was deemed fit to race on Sunday.
The team now have a great deal of data to analyse in preparation for Race 2 on Sunday, where they will aim for more points and a strong result for both riders.
The action continues at #ItalianWorldSBK with Race 2 at 13:00 (GMT +1)
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Mick Shanley, Team Manager
“It was a really disappointing day for us obviously. We made some good steps this morning and qualified well with both riders, but the race was tough.
Eugene got away well in the race and was able to maintain his positon around 6th and 7th. There were a few electronics problems on his bike which allowed other guys to get past him, and then he sustained some damage after being struck by another rider. It caused his brake lines to rip out and Eugene lost all braking, so he had to jump off the bike. We have a lot of damage but fortunately Eugene is fine and fit for tomorrow, but there is a lot of work for the guys to do tonight.
We had a difficult day yesterday with Lorenzo, as he didn’t really gain much in practice. The team worked really hard last night on his bike to make him more comfortable today, and we made good steps. He made it to Superpole 2 again which was positive, and he held onto 12th into the race which gives us lots of useful data to help him improve in Race 2.”
Lorenzo Savadori #32
Grid – P10 Race – P12, 4 points
“The weekend has been difficult for me so far. We still have some problems and have changed a lot of things on it since practice, because I didn’t learn very much on Friday. Today we made a good effort in Superpole 1 and I was happy to get into the second Superpole session. The race was quite difficult because I struggled with the feeling on the bike. My pace was fairly consistent but not quick, but I’m glad I was able to hold my position and get some more points in P12. For sure none of us are happy with the result today, but I know that the guys will all work really hard and I like this track a lot. Losing time on Friday really hurt us, but I think we can have a better race tomorrow and I feel positive.”
Eugene Laverty #50
Grid – P6 Race – DNF, crash
“I was optimistic at the start because the bike was feeling good, but I started losing pace after about 7 laps and I was moving backwards. I tried hanging in, and just before the crash happened the bike started to feel good again. We didn’t have much rear grip today. It was good at the start and then went away, but then it came back in the middle of the race which was strange. That’s something we need to look closely at, at times I felt I could really push but it was disappointing to see other guys coming past. I’m OK after the crash and I thought it would hurt me more, but my gear did its job and I’m ready to get on the bike again tomorrow. It’s hard to know how tomorrow will go, obviously there are positives to take from today but we have to analyse where we’re struggling.”
— Milwaukee Aprilia (@SMRWorldSBK) May 13, 2017