Eugene takes eighth place in Jerez race 1
Milwaukee Aprilia riders Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori brought home a solid points haul for the team on Saturday at Jerez, finishing P8 and P7 respectively for a total of 17 valuable points.
The morning WorldSBK warm up session was delayed due to unexpected heavy fog at the Circuito de Jerez, but cleared for the Superpole 2 session and made way for hot and sunny conditions that held throughout the day.
Superpole 2 saw the Milwaukee Aprilia riders set their fastest lap times of the weekend, Lorenzo going fastest of the pair with a 1’39.776 lap which secured him P6 on the grid in row two, just over four tenths off P3. Eugene was close to his teammate’s pace, setting a 1’39.839 that was good enough for P7 on row three.
The race got off to a dramatic start when a crash between Badovini and De Rosa at Turn 6 brought out the red flag. Using the quick restart procedure the bikes were back in action, Eugene and Lorenzo fighting in P7 and P8 on lap one. Eugene managed to save a near-highside at Turn X that caused him drop to P13.
Eugene set about taking back his lost positions in fine style, making his way past Torres on Lap 7 for P12, followed by a pass on Mercado on Lap 9 for P11.
He quickly overtook Ramos for P10 on Lap 13, and moved to P9 after Melandri’s retirement. A pass on Fores on the penultimate lap completed Eugene’s surge through the grid, and he finished P8 with 8 points.
Eugene Laverty #50
“Superpole wasn’t too bad today, P7 wasn’t an ideal position but it was a good gauge for our progress. My start was OK in the race but the red flag on the first lap disrupted the rhythm. I had a big moment on lap 2 where I nearly crashed and that’s where I lost most positions. I had to fight my way back through and that cost me some time. The positive is that at the end of the race I was one of the quickest guys on track, so that shows that we have solved our usual second-half problems where the bike goes away and the grip drops. Now that our pace in the later stages of the race is better, I fell pretty good about Race 2. The progress has come since the test in Portimao last month and built on in France. It’s clear we’ve made good steps with it and we can focus on out and out performance.”