Milwaukee Aprilia scored 7 consolation points in Race 2 at Chang with Lorenzo Savadori, but missed out on more after a crash for Eugene Laverty on lap 4.
Starting P6, Laverty looked set for a promising result on Sunday. From the start he was mixing with the leading riders, fighting closely with Fores and Davies. Problems quickly developed with his front tyre however, and he began to fall back towards Torres in P9. His tyre finally gave up at Turn 6 on lap 4, and tucked under causing Eugene a low-side crash. Torres was close behind and was caught up in the accident, hitting Eugene on the ground and falling from his own bike.
Eugene was taken to the medical centre for treatment and was experiencing lower back pain. He was later taken to local hospital and diagnosed with a broken right-hand side pubic ramus bone. No surgery is needed as the bone is not weight-bearing when standing, but will require intensive recuperation for Eugene.
Lorenzo rode another gritty and determined race, competing in the lower points initially before moving up the field albeit as other riders retired. He again showed his fighting spirit as he held on to P9 from lap 7 until the end to take 7 points, despite the considerable pain from his collarbone injury.
Though the weekend did not bring the team the results they had hoped for they can take encouragement from Lorenzo’s battling rides whilst not at his peak ability, and wish Eugene a speedy recovery from his racing incident.
The Superbike Word championship now heads to the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain for the start of the first European stint of races, from 13 – 15 April.
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“It was cruel luck for Eugene today. We made significant improvements overnight and his times in morning warm up showed that he had strong pace for Race 2. The injuries he sustained in his crash on lap 4 are serious enough that he will be sidelined for a number of weeks, but it’s too early to say how long for. The focus today is to get Eugene stable and back home as soon as he is fit to travel.
Lorenzo dug deep today, and all credit to him for delivering two strong point-scoring races just four weeks after breaking his collarbone. Hopefully he will be back to full strength for Aragon and ready to challenge at his peak again.
In light of Eugene’s injuries we have got to take positives from the weekend. Our package is clearly getting more and more competitive, and we are there at the sharp end. We head into a busy European race stint now, and we aim to continue building on our strong start to 2018.”