PRIVATEER HUMBLES ‘STRUG­GLING’ FAC­TORY APRILIA

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

The of­fi­cially sup­ported Mil­wau­kee Aprilia Rac­ing team of Eu­gene Laverty and Julian Si­mon en­dured a tough week­end af­ter be­ing out­paced by the rel­a­tively in­ex­pe­ri­enced Le­an­dro Mer­cado on­board his privateer IODA Rac­ing RSV-4.

The usu­ally po­tent Laverty was six sec­onds down on Mer­cado in race one and over two sec­onds be­hind in race two. The Ir­ish rider ex­plained his predica­ment, one he could not have pre­dicted at the end of last year.

“It was a tough week­end right away from Fri­day,” he said. “We strug­gled but I did what I could and tried to bring it home.

“I made a good start in race two and thought ‘OK, let’s have a fight’, but the guys rode inside and out­side of me.

“We do not have a bike we can fight with so it was the best I could do today. The wind made this some of the trick­i­est con­di­tions I have rid­den in.”

Laverty, like his whole team, needs results soon to ful­fil the glit­ter­ing prom­ise the squad has on pa­per.

“We need to find lap times and we are strug­gling even com­pared to last year’s Aprilia. Mer­cado’s bike looks more sim­i­lar to the other guys when I see him on track. Some­thing is se­ri­ously wrong with this year’s bike and we need to get to the bot­tom of it. At the mo­ment it is dan­ger­ous to try to fight with the other guys. In race one yes­ter­day I hit the guys four times. That is dan­ger­ous. I can­not turn the bike, can­not stop it and hope­fully in the test this week I can get to the bot­tom of it.”

The un­der­ly­ing is­sue may be that the 2017 bike has a new tank and seat unit, and a fixed en­gine po­si­tion that ap­pears too low in the frame com­pared to pre­vi­ous years and this is not help­ing with weight trans­fer un­der brak­ing and ac­cel­er­a­tion.

‘In race one yes­ter­day I hit the guys four times. That is dan­ger­ous’

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