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APRILIA WSBK – Donington Friday

ApriliaWSBK_Torres

LEON HASLAM IS FOURTH ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT DONINGTON

WITH 13 RIDERS WITHIN A SECOND OF ONE ANOTHER SBK PROMISES SPARKS

JORDI TORRES IS CLOSE BEHIND, ON THE ENGLISH TRACK FOR THE FIRST TIME

Donington, 22 May 2015 – An atypical Friday, with three timed sessions, kicked off the English World Superbike weekend. At Donington the first timed results leave little open to interpretation: with 13 riders all within one second of one another, we can reasonably expect some tight competition tomorrow and Sunday.

The first question in the team Aprilia Racing – Red Devils garage concerned Leon Haslam’s physical condition, with rib pain after his crash at Imola. The English rider, lying second in the championship, is still suffering with pain that, according to him, will not significantly affect his performance. His confidence was confirmed with a nice fourth best time earned today at the end of the three sessions, a promising result although there is still work to be done in order to perfect performance over race distance. Leon also missed a few laps during FP2, stopping prematurely to check the condition of his number 91 RSV4 RF.

Leon Haslam: “I’m pleased with the fourth place. The team did a great job between this morning and this afternoon despite slowing down in FP2. My ribs are bothering me but the Mobile Clinic is following up with me every session where we are deciding what to do in order to keep the problems to a minimum. In FP3 we got very close but I think there is still a lot of room for improvement and I can’t help but to be confident. We made the majority of improvements going into turns, in fact in the final part of the last session where I put in my best time. There are some very fast riders and even some new arrivals with respect to the usual familiar faces, so for Sunday we’ll need to set up the RSV4 RF to overtake easily in the duels.”

The three close sessions did not help Jordi Torres who, besides trying to squeeze out the best possible performance, must also learn a track that he has never faced before. Whereas at Imola the Spanish rider used the break between Friday and Saturday to collect his thoughts and speak with his mechanics, riding to a podium finish on Sunday, here the apprenticeship must take a different path. A gap of less than 8 tenths of a second doesn’t worry Jordi, who feels that he can improve significantly in FP4 tomorrow to then place his cards on the table in Superpole.

Jordi Torres: “It’s difficult to do three sessions on the same day on a new circuit. There isn’t enough time to gather your thoughts and memorise it. Despite this we did a good job. The bike is working well enough and that helped me not to waste too much time. We’re close, but with such tight standings it doesn’t take very much at all to make a difference, so tomorrow we’ll have to take on Superpole 1. The goal is to get into Superpole 2 and I’d say that the improvement depends 50% on my riding style and 50% on some changes we need to make to the RSV4.”