Eugene takes positives and a point from difficult race 2 at Phillip Island
Milwaukee Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty had to settle for a single consolation point in Race 2 at Phillip Island after crashing out of the lead
A fast start from P5 on the grid moved Eugene into third behind Fores and Rea by Turn 2. Pushing hard before the mandatory pit window opened on Lap 10 Eugene passed both riders at Turn 4 to take first place before the first lap was over, stretching a gap of 1.119s over Rea.
As the chasing pack battled for position, Eugene held his pace to end the second lap 1.227s ahead of Camier. With promising speed, Eugene looked set for a strong finish before his rear tyre gave up its grip on lap 3 and high-sided him at Turn 6. He was able to start his bike and rejoin however, pitting for new tyres and bodywork repairs to see out the race in P15 to take a conciliatory point for the team.
Despite a disappointing points haul from Round 1, the team have demonstrated a massive step in performance with the Aprilia this weekend, consistently challenging the traditional front runners in every session at Phillip Island. With rider Lorenzo Savadori set to recover from injury and return to his duties at the next race, the team can look forward to another opportunity to challenge at the front.
The WorldSBK season now heads to the Chang circuit in Buriram, Thailand for Round 2 from 23-25 March.
Eugene Laverty #50 – Aprilia RSV4-RF // Grid: P5 – Race result: P15 – 1 point
“I made a really good start to get into third, and then at Turn 4 I passed two guys to take the lead. The bike was feeling amazing and really easy to ride, and I was pulling out a decent time gap. On lap 3 suddenly the rear lost grip and I high-sided, so I was really disappointed with that. I had a race-winning bike under me today and after testing and Superpole that’s what we expected to have. The bike’s been really good at turning at this track and that’s an area we improved overnight, to allow me to change direction quicker and maintain a good speed. Race 1 was a big disappointment so today was a much stronger indication of our potential which we can be pleased with. We’ve got to be optimistic for Round 2 at Chang after the performance we’ve shown at Phillip Island. The team is right in the mix now and it’s very exciting for us all.”