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APRILIA WSBK – Portimao Race




Portimão, 7 June 2015 – Leon Haslam finished the Portuguese weekend brilliantly riding his Aprilia RSV4 RF to third place in Race 2. Leon’s podium is the just reward for the hard work done by Aprilia Racing – Red Devils and the determination of the English rider, still struggling with rib pain from his accident at Imola.

In the first race Haslam was comfortably managing fourth place before the rains came in the fifteenth lap and forced all the riders to change tyres. Coming back out of pit lane, Leon had a bad slide in turn 5, slipping on the treacherous asphalt. He got back on the bike and finished in twelfth place.

Starting Race 2 with severe pain in his side, aggravated by the crash in Race 1, Leon struggled for the first few laps and then found a good race pace. The English rider moved steadily up into third position and he was gaining on Giugliano who was in second place when the chequered flag came out.

Leon Haslam: “I made a bad mistake in Race 1 sliding on the wet asphalt and making my ribs worse. In the second race, on the other hand, I lost too much time at the beginning, missing a couple of gear changes, and losing touch with the leading group. In the middle section of the race I had a good pace and was able to move up a few positions to third place. When I had started catching up Giugliano I began to lose my feeling with the front. I was about a second behind but the race was over at that point. Getting onto the podium was important both for me and for the team considering how hard the guys worked this weekend.”

The two Portuguese races did not bring the results Jordi Torres had hoped for, despite the leap of quality demonstrated during the practice sessions. In the first race the Spanish rookie didn’t get off to the best of starts so he was forced to make up positions. The rain toward the end of the race complicated matters: In fact, Jordi had never before ridden the RSV4 on the wet and he settled for finishing the race without taking any pointless risks.

His start in Race 2 was good, as was the way he managed the middle part of the race. Only an abrupt loss of grip kept Jordi from a fifth place finish which was well within his reach.

Jordi Torres: “This was a difficult weekend, but we made a lot of progress. The RSV4 works well here. We were able to improve even compared to yesterday with a small change we made before the races. In Race 1 I didn’t start well. I was lacking confidence at the beginning. Then I set my pace until I was in about sixth place. Unfortunately the rain ruined everything. It was my first time riding the RSV4 in the wet and I was careful not to crash and ruin everything. In Race two I got off the line more aggressively and at mid-race I had the pace to defend sixth place well. But in the final laps I had a sudden loss of grip at the rear tyre. I didn’t take any risks and I settled for bringing home some important points. Unfortunately during practice on a new track it isn’t easy to make a good assessment of performance over race distance.”