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APRILIA WSBK – Portimao Superpole

ApriliaWSBK_Haslam

WSBK – PORTIMÃO SUPERPOLE 

SECOND AND THIRD ROW FOR THE APRILIA RSV4 RF 

LEON HASLAM, FASTEST ON A RACE TYRE, FINISHES IN FIFTH PLACE 

JORDI TORRES FINISHES NINTH, STILL STRUGGLING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE QUALIFIER TYRE

Portimão, 6 June 2015 – The World Superbike Saturday at Portimão saw the Aprilia Racing – Red Devils improving vastly, with Haslam putting the best time on the sheets in FP4 prior to Superpole.

So the English rider went into the decisive session ready to pounce, a sensation that was confirmed by his top time in the first phases using a race tyre. Unfortunately a moment of indecision in the first section compromised his performance during his flying lap, the lap where the rider was taking advantage of the soft compound Superpole rear tyre. Despite a good pace in the other sectors, in the end Leon had to settle for a fifth place which does not do him justice and means that he will start from the middle spot on the second row of the grid.

Leon Haslam: “Unfortunately I made a mistake in the first sector with the qualifying tyre. I was slower than when I had the race tyre on and that compromised my flying lap even though my pace was good in the other sectors. I’m disappointed but at the same time I’m confident since I had the fastest time with a race tyre both in Superpole and in the last practice session. We still need to work on a few details of the setup to improve over race distance, but our pace is good in any case. I didn’t use the pain killers much today and my physical condition shouldn’t be a problem for the races tomorrow.”

Jordi Torres is still working out the typical difficulties of a rookie season. The Spaniard, lying fifth in the championship standings and the best rookie of the season, also proved to be fast in the two practice sessions, moving into the leading group. Credit for his clear improvement compared to yesterday goes to the hard work done together with his team, improving his Aprilia RSV4 RF in the most critical sectors such as braking and going into turns. But the Superpole “specialised” tyre complicated matters: Jordi is still struggling to take advantage of the increased grip, losing confidence and precious tenths of a second. This is what led to his ninth place on the starting grid which means the third row, where he will start two races from behind.

Jordi Torres: “In general things went well today. Yesterday we were in the top 10, today in the top 5. We improved the RSV4 RF a lot in the sectors where I was having the most difficulty. We had a fast pace, but we are still missing a little something compared to the leaders. The flaw today was Superpole. The soft tyre still puts me in a tough spot because the bike’s reactions change a lot. I’m still not that quick at changing style and interpreting it well. It obviously has more grip and that demands a different riding style. But we have the pace to stay in the top 5, even if starting from the third row is not going to make things easy.”