Press releases from the Aprilia and Althea teams after the first two days of testing at Jerez:
Milwaukee Aprilia begin 2018 preparations at Jerez test
Circuito de Jerez 21 / 11 / 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia have completed two days of valuable test running at the Jerez circuit in Spain.
Less than three weeks after the WorldSBK 2017 finale at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar the team were back in action, utilising their experience of the year to continue developing and improving the Aprilia RSV4-RF.
The test revolved around exploring settings and directions within the new regulations for 2018, chiefly the reduced RPM limit and engine position. Both riders tested weight distribution changes and rear grip, areas that were improving race by race in 2017. Focus was also on parts validation, primarily a new gearbox and the first engine spec designed around the lower RPM.
The test will be the team's last track running of 2017, but development will carry on throughout the winter to put the team in the best possible position for the first tests of 2018 in January.
Shaun Muir - Team Principal
"This test was really about validating new parts for 2018 and gaining familiarity with the new regulations. It was good to get the whole team together and draw on what we have learnt in 2017, which is key for us moving into next season.
We were not chasing lap times here, and it was difficult to make any comparisons with the competition. Instead we have focused on producing a stable setting for the RSV4-RF that we can build on, and this includes a new gearbox, engine and other new parts to finalise.
There are several new members of staff to integrate to the team including a new crew chief for Lorenzo, and it has been a promising couple of days for everyone. Overall it was an important pre-season test for us that has taught us some things about the bike under the new regulations, and it gives us a good direction to progress in for the January tests."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
“The test first of all was about exploring the new rev limits. We had to understand how to use the gearbox differently, which is going to make the rider busier as we need to shift more. I can’t say much more about the lower revs but we will just have to live with it, as every manufacturer will.
Today we’ve also focused on the issue I had for a lot of 2017 which was getting the bike to push on the rear tyre more so we can stop, turn and accelerate better. We made some big steps on Tuesday, and I was surprised how extreme we had to go. We made progress though and suddenly I had rear grip, which gives me confidence because it confirms what we thought about the bike and the direction we need to follow.
I wish we had a third day as always so we could keep progressing, but it’s been a very useful two days. We still have to chase down those guys at the front, and Aprilia understand what’s needed on the engine and chassis side of things. We understand the direction needed, it will be the second year with the team and the same bike and we can only get stronger.”
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
“It was a very busy test for us. We completed a lot of laps on each day, and we tried a few new settings and directions for 2018. The plan when we started was to improve my comfort and rhythm on the bike, so that I can use it fully and get all the performance from it.
For sure we have lost a little speed with the lower RPM, but so has everyone else in the paddock. Aprilia have made a lot of changes and the bike is quite different to ride, but we have made good work with the RSV4-RF and we should be confident. We worked a lot on rear grip too, we tried two opposite directions to evaluate and this was very important.
There is still a lot of data to analyse, but I am happy with how this test has been and we should always be positive. The team have been great this year and of course we will all work very over the winter.”
A positive first test for Althea BMW and Baz at Jerez
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), Tuesday 21 November 2017
The Althea BMW Racing team and its new rider Loris Baz have concluded a two-day test session with positive results. On track at Jerez both today and yesterday, the Italian team made the most of this first opportunity to prepare for the 2018 Superbike world championship.
In dry conditions, Baz rode the BMW S 1000 RR for the first time, building some initial feeling after several seasons spent riding a MotoGP. As this was the Frenchman’s first outing with his new bike, work focusing on his “acclimatisation”, both in the saddle and in the garage, with his new team.
While the technicians worked to adapt the BMW to Loris’ riding style, Baz, in turn, completed 75 laps on day one and 94 today, well aware that the best way to get to grips with his new bike is to clock up the miles. He made good progress over the two days, improving his feeling and confidence and gradually lowering his times lap after lap. His best time set today, a 1’40.468, put him second on the timesheets, a very positive start.
Team Althea BMW is very pleased with the work it has completed this week and will return to Spain for further testing on 4-5 December, at the Cartagena track.
“We've had a very positive test. It was strange at first of course, with a lot of things to get used to, but we’ve worked hard and done a good job I think. I completed many laps, necessary in order to find the right feeling. I really like the bike, particularly the front and the front tyre, while I have more difficulty with the electronics. I am still struggling with the brand new tyre, but we will continue to work on this in future tests. In a race simulation this morning we were pretty fast, in line with the pace seen during the latest Jerez race. So I’m really happy overall and can’t wait for the next sessions.”
“I think these first two days of testing at Jerez have been very positive for our rider, who returns to Superbike after three years in MotoGP, no small challenge. Step by step, Loris has been able to ‘make friends’ with his new bike. He surprised me with regard to his speed and ability to interpret everything we have given him. The team too has worked really well and so I’m pleased. Having such an experienced rider, despite his young age, allows us to work with precision and provide him with the right support. The Kawasakis are still in front, and tomorrow Ducati and Yamaha will be here, so we have to wait and see how things are overall, but I can say that I’m extremely satisfied with this first test.”