Back in the days of the Roman Empire, the ruling class would stage contests whereby gladiators would fight to the death for the entertainment of the unwashed classes. The citizenry would typically get the day off from their labors for these "holidays" and these rituals of blood and death became extremely popular, so much so that the term "Roman Holiday" became a metaphor for the concept of deriving entertainment from the suffering of others.
Yesterday at Monza, a modern-day Roman, Max Biaggi, made his fellow competitors suffer and there's no doubt that the man called the Emperor and his paisanos in the audience, Italian or otherwise, enjoyed every second of his double win at the venerable northern Italy track.
Monza. It's a name that fairly quivers with racing history. There has been organized road-racing on this site since the early twentieth century and the bones of the old banked track still linger in the shadow of the modern cicuit, covered in vegetation, redolent with the vibrations of bygone triumph and tragedy. Italian is a musical language and names like the Curva Parabolica , Curva di Lesmos and the Variante Ascari are like the lyrics of a song whose accompaniment is the staccato rise and fall of finely tuned internal combustion engines.
It's the Monday after the latest World Superbike round at Monza, and as ever, Infront Motor Sports have highlights of the two World Superbike and one World Supersport races from the Temple of Speed at Monza up on their Youtube channel. So grab a coffee and start your working week off with a bang, as you enjoy the best parts from this weekend's races.
If the abbreviated, 2 minute versions have whet your appetite for more, and you want to see the full races, you can head on over to the website of the Italian broadcaster La7, and watch the races in full. Being screened on Italian TV, the races of course come with Italian commentary, which may be a problem for anyone unfamiliar with the language. However, given the strong results for the Italian World Superbike contingent, it shouldn't be necessary to be able to actually understand what the commentators are saying. Their tone should be informative enough. You can catch WSBK race 1 here, and WSBK race 2 here.
Monza World Superbike Race 1 highlights
With 14 different chassis manufacturers lining up on the grid in Moto2, it was inevitable that at least one would suffer problems. After a poor start to the season, the Mapfre Aspar team of Julian Simon and Mike di Meglio have decided to switch chassis from Le Mans onwards, according to reports on the Spanish website Motocuatro.com, the Spanish magazine Motociclismo and the Italian website GPOne.com. From the French Grand Prix on, the Aspar riders will be using the Suter MMX chassis which currently dominates the grid.
Results and summary of World Superbike race 2 at Monza:
Results and summary of the World Supersport race at Monza:
Results and summary of World Superbikes Race 1 at Monza:
Monza Superpole report and results - Updated and finalized:
Michel Fabrizio saved the honor of the Xerox Ducati squad by topping the timesheets during the second session of qualifying at Monza, edging out HANNSpree Ten Kate's Johnny Rea in the dying seconds of the session. Behind Rea, the factory Alitalia Aprilias confirmed their pace at Monza's high-speed track, Max Biaggi just edging teammate Leon Camier to finish out the provisional front row. The grid will be finalized during this afternoon's Superpole session, due to start at 3pm local time.
With the rain falling at a rather chilly Monza, it was two men from warmer climes that dominated the wet second session of free practice for the World Supersport class. Michele Pirro, from way down south in Italy was fastest by a large margin, ahead of his Ten Kate Honda teammate Kenan Sofuoglu, from sunny Turkey. Biggest surprise of the morning was Alex Lundh, the Swedish privateer riding for the Cresto Guide Racing Team, which still operates out of a van and a trailer, rather than the giant race trucks used by the other, far better funded team, while ParkinGO Triumph's Matthieu Lagrive ended the day in 4th.
As always, OnTheThrottle.TV hosted a pre-race show for this weekend's World Superbike event at Monza. World Superbike's official commentators Jonathan Green and Steve Martin talk to OTT's Dave Williams about Monza, BMW and how World Superbikes has developed. A great intro to this weekend's WSBK race, as well as a quick look back at the last round at Assen.
Eugene Laverty continued to top the timesheets in the World Supersport class at Monza, the Parkalgar Honda rider finishing the first session of qualifying on top of the pile. But instead of the usual suspects alongside him, ParkinGO Triumph's David Salom took 2nd spot, putting in a fast lap late in the session to end just over two tenths behind Laverty. With two Kawasakis beside Salom - Motocard.com's Joan Lascorz and Lorenzini by Leoni's Fabien Foret - all three brands contesting the World Supersport class are represented on the provisional front row for Sunday's World Supersport race. Surprisingly, neither of the Ten Kate bikes made it onto the provisional front row, Kenan Sofuoglu finishing 5th just over six tenths behind Laverty, while his teammate Michele Pirro ended 6th, well over a second off the Irishman's pace.