Returning for Round 9 of the WorldSBK championship from the summer break, the team were optimistic for the weekend after an encouraging test at Lausitz in July.
A dry FP1 session gave the riders chance to get back up to speed with the ever-improving Aprilia RSV4 RF, and they were immediately on the pace with laps in the 1’37 mark.
FP2 was delayed by a red flag after a competitor’s crash, and then further delayed by an hour and a half when a heavy downpour hit the track. Restarting with 35 minutes left, the team used the time to refine their setup for qualifying and the race and cement their places in the top 6.
With another successive Superpole 2 start for both bikes, Milwaukee Aprilia will be looking to consolidate their pace so far with strong grid positions ahead of Race 1.
The action continues for Milwaukee Aprilia on Saturday with Superpole 2 at10:55 (09:55 GMT).
Lorenzo Savadori #32
FP1: 1’37.721, P4
FP2: 1’39.035, P10
Combined result: 1’37.721, P4
“I was happy with the result today, and it shows we are making good progress with the RSV4 RF. It is important to go straight to SP2 again and be close to the top riders. I think we can do well in qualifying, and hopefully deliver a good race result. The feeling with the bike is much better. Aprilia Racing and SMR have worked very hard over the summer, and it is clear to see where we are stronger. The front is stronger, and I am able to push more. We learnt lots from Laguna, and the test at Laustiz helped us improve. I prefer that we have a dry race for sure, because when it rains it is nearly always a lottery. Today we had some wet laps, so we will be ready whatever happens.’
Eugene Laverty #50
FP1: 1’37.880, P5
FP2: 1’38.052, P5
Combined result: 1’37.880, P6
“Today in general I was surprised that there was such a big difference in grip compared to the test, about three-quarters of a second. In the afternoon we improved but we were still off the pace we were able to do in July. The bike still feels good round here, there’s just some things to improve with the front that we can fix tomorrow. The direction we’re going in is the same in Laguna, which has been working for us. That weekend was unlucky but I’m glad we’ve been able to continue that plan and develop it. The top 3, 4 guys are still tough to mix with, but we’re catching them up bit by bit. It’s difficult to say how much weather will factor this weekend. We did some wet laps in testing here which were useful, but we all know that it gets really slippery here when it rains so we’ll have to be careful. I’d prefer a dry race of course; we want to show our potential and anything could happen.’