Saturday started really good on the Phillip Island circuit for Team Go Eleven. During Free Practices 3 a very fast Laverty made one second better than the lap time of yesterday afternoon, closing in top 5. A big step forward done, result of the great work of our guys prolonged until late at night; they operated on balancing the bike, improving weight transfer. The constant work of the Bitubo technicians gave to Eugene a very comfortable to ride bike!
In Superpole, the new format made his debut: no longer two different sessions, but a unique one 25 minutes long! Started at 12.15, the temperature of the asphalt has risen significantly, causing unexpected problems of loss of grip on the rear. Three tires used, one of which qualifying, but the lap time has not improved compared to the morning. Eugene has, therefore, lined up in the fourth row.
Race 1 of WorldSBK made history: Alvaro Bautista, riding the new Panigale V4-R, won the race, stopping the dominance of 11 in a row of wins branded Rea-Kawasaki. Congratulations to the whole Ducati racing department!
The race of Team Go Eleven was compromised by a problem in the starting grid: the power generator normally used to keep the tyres at temperature has turned off, leaving the Pirelli to cool. To comply with the regulation and not incur penalties, the pressure above 1.6 (minimum limit imposed by the promoter) was maintained. With the passing of the laps, the temperature of the rear tire has risen, as well as the pressure, going well over the 2 bar, very high levels that have caused a total loss of grip.
Eugene Laverty, however, immediately started well, coming back to some positions and sticking to Marco Melandri. After the first two laps the performances, however, have worsened and for our rider it was a defensive race, still managing to finish close to the official Ducati of Chaz Davies!
Eugene Laverty (Race 1 - P 12):
“We have reason for optimism today after the performance in practice this morning. We posted the 5th fastest time and I was able to make a very consistent rhythm. Unfortunately during the race there was a big problem, due to the power generator, with the rear tyre pressure and so I had no rear grip. Our potential was much higher today but anyway, tomorrow we have another opportunity. This is the beauty of the World Superbike Championship.”
On Sunday Team Go Eleven will have the opportunity to improve, testing for the first time the Superpole Race, 10 laps sprint race that will award points to the first 10 riders in the standings and will set the starting grid for race 2!