Monza World Superbike Preview

Press Release | May 4, 2010

The following is from Yamaha…Two good podium finishes by James Toseland at Assen followed by a successful two day test in Misano last week have given the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team extra motivation for the team’s home race. Riders Toseland and Crutchlow head to Monza for round five of the World Championship this weekend, the first of three Italian races this year, intent on capitalising on the steps taken recently in development. These include steps forward in electronics and chassis set-up, making the bike even more competitive and making the British pairing serious contenders for victory at the legendary high speed circuit.The circuit itself was first constructed in 1922 and has undergone various changes from then to its current set up. Its 5.7km layout is characterised by long high speed straights and chicanes, with three main corners, the Curvone di Biassono, Curva di Lesmo and the Curva Parabolica. For 2010 the first chicane at the end of the start / finish straight has been modified. The current and previous lap records were both taken on Yamaha R1s, the current last year by Ben Spies, the previous in 2007 by Noriyuki Haga.James Toseland, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team

“The test last week was encouraging, I think I ended up second and third. I am particularly looking forward to Monza; I’ve always loved riding there, as we didn’t in Moto GP I’m happy to be going back. It’s got an ambience in the park, to hear the engines resonating through the trees is really special and you can feel the history. The high speed circuit is also pretty special; to hold it flat out in top gear for 7 or 8 seconds is something you don’t do anywhere else. I’m really pleased with the way things are progressing with package and the team and as it’s the home race for them it also adds something extra to the weekend.”Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team

“I’m looking forward to putting the Assen weekend behind me and getting back to the front at Monza. We’ve been working hard as a team to keep improving the bike and it was really useful to spend the two days at Misano working on a set up for me. I’m confident both James and I can be at the front this weekend and fighting for podiums on Sunday. I love the high speed Monza circuit and enjoyed racing there on the Supersport bike last year, I can’t wait to tackle it with the R1.”Monza technically speaking according to Frankie Carchedi, James Toseland’s Crew Chief

“At Assen we were able to make more steps forward with the electronics and chassis, and more importantly close the gap on the championship lead. Since then we have had a successful test at Misano where we were able to evaluate different links and further improvements to the power delivery. Monza is the fastest track on the calendar and requires good top end speed, strong brakes and good at changing direction as it has three chicanes, also tyre life for the famous Parabolica corner which dictates the speed on to the main straight. We are hopeful that with the further improvements we have made, and the strong Yamaha engine, James can again fight for the win and close the gap for the championship.”Monza technically speaking according to Marcus Eschenbacher, Cal Crutchlow’s Crew Chief

“The Misano test was really interesting for us using different approaches to chassis set up. We’ve improved our mid corner grip and stability and also our straight line traction and drive coming out of the corners. Monza has the highest average speed of any circuit we visit this year, with chicanes in between the high speed sections so we will be setting up for high speed stability as well as working on a bike that can change direction quickly and drive out of the chicanes.”Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team Manager

“For me Monza is something special, it was the same when I was racing here. In the past we have traditionally had good results in all race categories at the track, and after the last two races and the test in Misano we are arriving with good expectations. Unfortunately the weather forecast is bad for this weekend so that is a question mark but hopefully it is wrong!”The following is from Ducati…With four of the 2010 World Superbike rounds already completed, Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio are now mentally and physically preparing for the first of three Italian appointments, to take place this weekend at Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale.Monza has hosted the Superbikes since 1992 (the only year that didn’t see a Monza round was 1994) and last year provided the setting for Michel’s first ever Superbike win, achieved in Race 1 and consolidated by a second place finish in the second of the day’s races. Noriyuki too had a strong first race and crossed the line second, just two tenths behind team-mate Michel, but was subsequently involved in an unlikely, and extremely unlucky, collision with a pigeon which put a dramatic end to his Race 2.Just over a week ago the TT Circuit of Assen played host to the Superbikes and at the end of a very difficult weekend, Noriyuki lies in sixth position in the riders classification and Michel in ninth. Ducati is third in the manufacturers standings at this point, four points behind Aprilia and eighteen behind leader Suzuki.Straight after Assen the factory team carried out two days of testing at Misano and, although Noriyuki was suffering from a high fever, some very useful work was completed by both riders and at the end of the sessions Michel proved to be the fastest rider on track.Noriyuki Haga (6th in championship, 85 points)

The Japanese rider has celebrated numerous race wins and podiums at this track in recent years and lists it among his favourites.

“It was unfortunate that I was sick after Assen and so couldn’t make the most of last week’s Misano testing session. The work I did do there went well and now we have to see what happens at Monza. This weekend will be tough; I like the Monza track but at the same time I know that my 1198 does not have the top speed of some of the other bikes and with Monza’s long straights, it will be hard for us I think. Nevertheless, I’ll be opening the gas and giving 200%.”Haga’s Superbike form at Monza:

2009: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – DNF

2008: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – winner

2007: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – winner

2006: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 3rd

2005: Race 1 – 11th, Race 2 – 9th

2004: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – DNF

2002: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 3rd

2000: Race 1 – DNF , Race 2 – 5thMichel Fabrizio (9th in championship, 53 points)

Michel put on a great performance here last season, winning Race 1 and finishing Race 2 in second. For this reason, Michel too cites Monza as one of his favourite circuits.

“I had a good weekend here last year and am very happy that my first ever Superbike race win came in front of my home crowd, at Monza. We’ve not had an easy run of things recently but testing went well at Misano last week and I’ll be doing everything to put on a great performance this weekend. We need to start to make up lost ground.”Fabrizio’s Superbike form at Monza:

2009: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – 2nd

2008: Race 1 – 9th, Race 2 – 5th

2007: Race 1 – 8th, Race 2 – 11th

2006: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 14thThe following is from Infront Sports…The HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship returns to the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza from May 7-9 for another classic appointment with the Italian track. Twenty years on from the first edition at the Monza parkland circuit on the outskirts of Milan, the challenge is still the same, but this time with seven different manufacturers competing with the best racing talent from Italy and abroad. On this high-speed track production-based Superbike machines lap at an average speed of close to 200 km/h, and this year expectations are high that the races will produce sparks from lights to flag.For two-wheeled racing fans Monza will offer numerous talking points this weekend: table-toppers Suzuki with Britain’s Leon Haslam, the all-Italian combination of Aprilia, Alitalia and Biaggi, the factory Ducati riders trying to shrug off their below-par season start, Honda back at the top once again following Johnny Rea’s domination at Assen, reigning champions Yamaha with two talented British stars, BMW on the up and up and Kawasaki who are aiming to finally join the front-running party.On the rider front the 27-year-old Brit Leon Haslam, the son of Ron ‘Rocket’ Haslam who graced the 500 GP scene for many years, is currently on the top of the pile. After four rounds Leon leads the way with two wins to his name, and is 20 points ahead of Max Biaggi. Max, for his part, appears to have all the right cards this year to become the first ever Italian to win the World Superbike title and a double win in Portugal is projecting him towards that success. All eyes will also be on another British Lion, 23-year-old Leon Camier who stepped onto the WSB podium for the first time at Assen, while another Suzuki, a GSXR1000 Yoshimura for Yukio Kagayama, also joins the grid in the first of three races slated in for this year.Not everything is going according to plan in Ducati and the Italian manufacturer, which has won 18 of the 36 races held at Monza, is looking to one of its congenial tracks to set things right. Both the Xerox Ducati men, Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio have struggled to regain ground since the opening round in Australia and thousands of fans will be following closely their every move. As well as the factory squad, the Althea Ducati team has brought back Spaniard Carlos Checa to a level of competitiveness rarely seen in the last couple of years, and Checa will receive capable back-up from Shane Byrne, who is still looking for a breakthrough this year. Jakub Smrz is producing excellent form, especially in qualifying, on the Borciani-Guandalini Ducati 1098 machine, while Italian colours are also capably represented by Lorenzo Lanzi (DFX) and Luca Scassa (Supersonic).Much attention surrounds relative newcomers BMW, who after a year of running in the new S1000RR, are now starting to appear in the top positions. BMW hope to continue this positive trend at Monza, a track where the four-cylinder German machine can lay down all of its power and maybe a podium finish is on the cards. The Tardozzi effect is beginning to be felt throughout the team and two-times champion Troy Corser, together with Ruben Xaus, is rapidly making progress.Dutch team Hannspree Ten Kate have taken Japanese manufacturer Honda back to the top after a disappointing start to the year with a dominant double win for Rea at Assen. After the latest modifications the CBR is now a perfectly competitive bike again, and Rea is aiming for further success, while things are a bit more difficult for young German Max Neukirchner who hasn’t yet got entirely to grips with his new Honda mount. Monza will also mark the return of Vittorio Iannuzzo on the private Squadra Corse Italia Honda CBR.Yamaha hopes of repeating last year’s fantastic American exploit, when Spies took one win at Monza and the title, lie with two British riders, James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow. For Toseland the return to Superbike, after a couple of unsuccessful seasons in MotoGP, has not been easy but his well-known perseverance has rewarded him with three podiums in the last four races, a result that has propelled him into fifth overall. Crutchlow’s impact is the result of a spectacular riding style and two Superpoles have earned the Coventry man a front-row place in the eyes of Superbike fans everywhere in his debut season.For Kawasaki the grass continues to be ‘greener’ on the other side of the fence. Chris Vermeulen’s crash at Phillip Island together with him missing the next two rounds at Portimao and Valencia as he recovered from his knee injury, has scaled down the revitalized team’s ambitions. Tom Sykes is doing everything possible to get good results but for the moment there is some way to go.Points (after 4 rounds of 13): 1. Haslam 148; 2. Biaggi 128; 3. Rea 110; 4. Checa 103; 5. Toseland 86; 6. Haga 85; 7. Corser 68; 8. Guintoli 55; 9. Fabrizio 53; 10. Crutchlow 49. Manufacturers: 1. Suzuki 148; 2. Aprilia 134; 3. Ducati 130; 4. Honda 111; 5. Yamaha 93; 6. BMW 69; 7. Kawasaki 19SUPERSPORT: The Supersport World Championship has always offered close competition, but this year Monza is guaranteed to produce sparks, with slipstreaming the name of the game. In the first three rounds there were three different winners, each of the ‘big three’ scoring well, with first Eugene Laverty(Parkalgar Honda), then Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), then Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki scoring full points. At the most recent race Laverty scored win number two, but he had to, as two less than happy weekends in Portugal and then Spain saw him drop way off the leading pace. At Assen he recovered ground, and now only 19 points, cover the top three in the championship.Points (after 4 rounds of 13): 1. Lascorz 85; 2. Sofuoglu 77; 3. Laverty 66; 4. Davies 46; 5. Harms 35; 6. Rea 33; 7. Salom 32; 8. Foret 28; 9. Roccoli 24; 10. Fujiwara 23. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 95; 2. Kawasaki 85; 3. Triumph 55SUPERSTOCK 1000: You cannot get better than perfect, and for BMW Motorrad Italia and Ayrton Badovini perfect is what 2010 has been so far. Three races, three wins, the full 75 possible points on offer and the nearest challenger 30 points behind. The basis of the team is the same one that took Ducati to the championship for the past three years, under the guiding hand of Serafino Foti. Behind Badovini are three riders who have shared the podium with him so far, Davide Giugliano (06 Team Suzuki), Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Race Junior) and Sylvain Barrier (BMW Garnier). Loris Baz (MRS Racing Yamaha) was the champion in the 600 Superstock class in 2008, and has also now scored a top three in 1000 Superstock, in Portugal.Points (after 3 rounds of 10): 1. Badovini 75; 2. Giugliano 45 ; 3. Berger 40; 4. Barrier 40; 5. Antonelli 28; 6. Baz 27; 7. Magnoni 27; 8. Tutusaus 20; 9. Petrucci 19; 10. Bussolotti 18. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 75; 2. Honda 53; 3. Suzuki 45; 4. Yamaha 27; 5. KTM 20; 6. Kawasaki 19; 7. Ducati 13; 8. Aprilia 9SUPERSTOCK 600: French riders continue to dominate the European Superstock 600 championship which comes to Monza for its fourth round. Two youngsters are at the top, 17 year-old Jeremy Guarnoni (Yamaha MRS Racing), who won in Portugal, followed by 16 year-old Florian Marino (Ten Kate Race Junior Honda), winner at Valencia and Assen. They are separated by 11 points. The third interloper could be Norway’s Frederik Karlsen (MTM Racing Yamaha), who is emerging as a contender after a fifth place at Assen and having been given back the points he lost at Valencia. Behind can be found the Martini Corse Yamaha pairing of Dino Lombardi and Federico D’Annunzio.Points (after 3 rounds of 10): 1. Guarnoni 61; 2. Marino 50; 3. Karlsen 47; 4. Lombardi 38; 5. D’Annunzio 31; 6. Lanusse 30; 7. Fanelli 25; 8. Major 20; 9. Calero Perez 19; 10. Elliot 15THE CIRCUIT: Following the multiple incident at the start of race 1 last year , which involved numerous riders, the first chicane has been slightly modified to give an easier entry angle . As a result the track now measures 5.777 km, 16 metres less than last year.COLLATERAL ACTIVITIES: But Monza is not only about the racing. The parallel activities for one of the most important races of the year also include events that will involve spectators both inside and outside the Paddock. Dedicated Aprilia, BMW, Ducati and Kawasaki grandstands will offer a unique spectacle, while fans can also watch exhibitions by German stuntman Chris Pfeiffer on Sunday during the pit-walk and on two other occasions in the Casa SBK Village, which will also be organizing competitions and prizes throughout the weekend.EXTRAORDINARY EVENT FOR AN EXTRAORDINARY RACE: The fever-pitch expectation for the WSB Round at the legendary Monza circuit and the rise in ticket pre-sales are elements that will surely guarantee the success of the event. Starting the weekend off in style, an SBK Party has been organized for Thursday 6th May at 8pm in the prestigious OLD FASHION club in Via Alemagna, Milan. The event sees the participation of the top riders in the championship, sponsors, journalists, TV and media and sport and show business personalities. The evening will also be opened up to all Superbike fans, who can download the invitation from FACEBOOK at to have free access from 11pm onwards by presenting the invitation.The following is from Suzuki…The fifth round of this year’s Superbike World Championship takes place at one of the most famous and historic circuits on the calendar – Monza. For many, the Autodromo Nazionale is the place of legends and a mecca for petrolheads worldwide. The 5.793 kilometre track is renowned for its flowing nature, high speeds and fast riders can hit velocities over 300 kph.Suzuki Alstare rider, and series leader, Leon Haslam intends to keep up the pressure on his rivals with another pair of top performances and leave Italy still in command at the top of the standings, before heading off to the two flyway races in South Africa and USA. His team mate Sylvain Guintoli is also keen to do well in Monza and will be aiming to kick his season back into life after a pair of disappointing rounds.Leon

Monza is steeped in history and it is always a pleasure going there and seeing the remnants of its past. The old banking is amazing and it’s hard to believe how people got round it so fast! Fortunately, we don’t have to try and do that, but the track we race on is pretty fast also. It’s a track where tactics are very important and you have to be able to get your slipstreaming just right. It’s easy to be leading a pack of riders going into the Parabolica just before the start finish straight and end up second, third or fourth! Although there are some very fast bits, there are also some slowish corners where hard braking is called for, so it’s important to get a good set-up on the bike. Last year I was on a different bike. I qualified 17th, scored no points in race one and got seventh in race two, so I will certainly be looking for a big improvement this time.SylvainI have never been to Monza before, so this is going to be a new experience for me. I know that it is a high speed track and that slipstreaming can play a crucial part. Obviously, my first job will be to learn the circuit and then try and qualify well. That has been a bit of a problem for me recently, but I aim to turn up with my race head on and find a good rhythm right from the start. Anything less will be a problem, so I have to get down to it as soon as I can. Although it is a new track for me, I am looking forward to a good weekend and an upturn on my recent results.

By Press Release