Milwaukee Aprilia complete first 2018 pre-season test at Jerez
Milwaukee Aprilia have made a strong start to 2018 WorldSBK testing, with riders Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori completing two full days at the Spanish Jerez circuit.
Fresh from the winter break and the most recent test in November 2017, the team were eager to continue developing the Aprilia RSV4-RF for the 2018 season. Eugene and Lorenzo worked through a full test schedule and both riders have reported good progress with their machines. A variety of new parts and setups have been run on both sides of the garage, with the team confident they can build on their debut 2017 season.
The team has two further days of testing at the Portimao circuit in Portugal from Sunday 28th – Monday 29th. The test will be the last chance to have on-track running before the first official WorldSBK test at the Australian Phillip Island circuit in February.
Eugene Laverty #50 – Aprilia RSV4-RF
“It’s been a very good test overall. Tuesday was frustrating because the lap time was reasonable but the rear grip was bad, and I knew we could improve with more grip. Wednesday was a great day and we achieved a strong lap time, and I’m really happy with how the whole team worked to make the progress. To do a 1’39.876 at the end was a big step forward and we are right in the mix now. There is still work to do, we are in the window but still have more pace to show.
The difference for me has been making the rear tyre push more into the track. Some of the bigger don’t struggle so much with that because their weight is an aid, but for me being small it’s more difficult. We struggled in 2017 with the rear tyre; not the life of it, we just couldn’t use it fully as it didn’t push enough. We’ve overcome that by altering the bike’s balance and corner entry, and I’m confident we can get even stronger.
I knew Jerez would be the most important period of pre-season testing because the bike has to be quick here to work. Heading to Portimao, it’s a track that I know very well and have learnt a few secrets to find that lap time. This has been a key day for us, we have halved the gap to the top and there’s more to come.”