Laverty: "We understand the bike better than we did last season"

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 10:45 GMT

Milwaukee Aprilia leave Portimao with positive feeling

Following a tough 2017 season, the Milwaukee Aprilia squad have been working hard in pre-season testing and Eugene Laverty is beginning to understand the RSV4 RF machine more as himself and his team head into the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season opener. Whilst his Italian team-mate Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), has been working on his bike throughout the race distance.

Although Laverty was unable to enjoy riding his RSV4 RF due to blustery conditions in Portugal, the Irish rider was still able to make improvements on his bike even though he wasn’t able to get a strong lap time in. Explaining the importance of the times set, he still is happy with the work the team has done in the final European test before the paddock heads to Australia.

Laverty explains:  “It’s been a really tough test as the wind was so strong on day one, and stronger on day two so it was really difficult to ride the bike. When we left Jerez we had a good pace and were closer to the top guys, but we were really lacking rear grip between the initial exit of the corner. I would say we improved that today so we have to be positive with that, it’s nicer when you’re enjoying riding the bike, and today you couldn’t enjoy it because of the wind. I think we’ve done a decent job but we always want more, we understand this bike better than we did last season and that’s the key to making steps forward.”

Savadori, who heads into his third season with the team shares a similar feeling with his team-mate and is happy with the progress made as they prepare the bike for the season opener in Phillip Island. Calling upon the experience gained in 2017, he hopes to be strong in Australia as he hails his team for the hard work put in.

 “We had 2 positive days at Portimao,” adds Savadori. “We worked a lot to improve the RSV4 RF and my rhythm on it. Of course this circuit is very different to Jerez so our base setting for the bike had to change, but it is useful to get different data and to understand the bike more. Our focus was not on fast lap times, because we need to make the bike effective over race distance. We made some good progress in preparing the bike for Phillip Island, and we can use the experience of 2017 to make sure we are strong at the first race.”

Watch more reactions and highlights from the Portimao test, as the paddock prepares to head to Australia for the 2018 opener with the WorldSBK VideoPass.