Eugene Laverty and the Milwaukee Aprilia squad were able to make a breakthrough in their final European pre-season test before heading to Phillip Island to start the 2017 Superbike World Championship.
Laverty had suffered bad chatter in the team’s first test of the year in Jerez, leaving him 13th quickest and some two seconds off pacesetter Jonathan Rea. However, after moving on to Portimao for a further two day’s testing, the British-based team were able to resolve the Irishman’s issues meaning he could go on to set the second quickest time of the test behind Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
“Portimao was a big improvement for us,” Laverty said. “I made good progress on Saturday but I was still having to fight the bike, whereas on Sunday I was able to do a lot of laps and really get it feeling like my bike again. I feel like I can race with it now, and I felt comfortable on the race and quali tyres. It's been a very productive two days, much better than Jerez, and we made big breakthroughs to resolve the chatter I was having.”
Laverty and the Milwaukee team now head to Australia, where the final pre-season test will take place at the Phillip Island circuit just days before the 2017 season gets underway.
“I'm feeling confident for Round 1 at Phillip Island; we have a good base to work from and the team is working really well together. It's one of my favourite tracks to ride, and with another test there I think we're in a good position to really move forward."
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