SIXTEENTH TIME IN THE QUALIFIERS FOR LAVERTY WHO STRUGGLED WITH THE STRONG WINDS IN DONINGTON.
Donington, 11 May 2012 – A long technical briefing ended the first day of practice for the Aprilia Racing Team at Donington. The current championship leader, Max Biaggi, discussed at length with his mechanics, looking for a solution to the problems that slowed him down in the two sessions today. The goal is to improve on the eighth time he put on the boards in the qualifiers, a result which is good in any case as a starting place, considering the very tight gaps: thirteen riders are within one second of one another.
The Donington Park track is ideally divided into two sectors. An initial, rather smooth and fast phase, is contrasted by a final section with abrupt braking zones and accelerations, characteristics which require compromises in the set-up which can adapt as best possible to the various conditions.
In any case, the work done today provided some important indications for Max: “We suffered a bit today as well. We’re not far from the front runners… what’s missing is the confidence coming out of the turns in order to ride the way I like to. I like the track. It alternates between fast sections and sudden deceleration, so that forces us to look for a compromise which won’t stress the chassis and that allows us to be fast without working too hard. The tight time differences shouldn’t fool us into underestimating the situation. We’ll have to make a leap of quality tomorrow if we want to aim for a good result on Sunday”.
The biggest problem for Eugene Laverty, on the other hand, is the wind, which particularly bothers the rider from Northern Ireland in the straight stretches. The sixteenth time he put on the boards in the last qualifying session is certainly not the result he had hoped for, but the Northern Irish rider looks at it as a promising interpretation for tomorrow.
“Actually the bike is doing quite well in a few sections. The problem is that we lose a lot of time in the parts where we’re struggling. To make things worse there was a very strong crosswind today, especially in the straight stretches at the end of the track, and that prevents me from moving around in the saddle properly. If the conditions get better tomorrow I’m sure we’ll be able to find the right path toward being competitive. With my family and fans trackside I’d really like to ride two good races”.