2011 Monza WSBK Saturday Press Release Roundup

Press releases issued after qualifying by the World Superbike and World Supersport teams at Monza:

Monza – Qualifying Practice 2 & Superpole.
Saturday, 07 May 2011.
Weather conditions: Sunny.
Temperature: Air: 20 – 25 °C, Track: 34 – 43 °C

Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1:42.934 min

Fastest lap Superpole 3: Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing) 1:41.745 min

Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport had a successful Saturday at Monza (ITA) and will start the fourth round of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship from the first and second rows. After strong performances in the second Qualifying session in the morning and in the Free Practice, the team consolidated on these in the deciding Superpole session. Works rider, Troy Corser (AUS), who scored the first podium for BMW Motorrad Motorsport one year ago at Monza, qualified fourth. His team mate, Leon Haslam (GBR), finished the very close third and final part of the Superpole in sixth, only three hundreds of a second behind Troy. Leon set the fastest lap times in the Qualifying sessions for the Superpole.

Troy Corser:

Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:43.039 min (P3) / Fastest lap FP: 1:43.058 min (P4) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:42.688 min (P4)

"I am quite happy with today's result. I tried to push in Superpole 2 and made a small mistake at La Roggia - I hit the kerbs and lost some time. In Superpole 3 I was a little bit more cautious, and I braked a little sooner. As a result, again I lost a few tenths. The BMW S 1000 RR still does not like to be pushed too much. Nevertheless, I am happy enough as I made it onto the front row for the first time this season. I now hope for a good start and to get through the first chicane without any issues. On the race tyre I have quite a consistently good pace. I think wherever we are after the start, we can also be at the end of the race. I am looking forward to tomorrow's race."

Leon Haslam:

Fastest lap Qualifying Practices: 1:42.934 min (P1) / Fastest lap FP: 1:42.877 min (P3) / Fastest lap Superpole 3: 1:42.723 min (P6)

"I made a slight mistake in Superpole 1, which meant I went for the qualifying tyre to ensure I posted a quick time, so that's why my lap time in SP1 was my fastest of the three sessions. In Superpole two I used the second and final set of qualifiers, but again I caught some riders in the wrong place on the track and my lap time wasn't as quick. Still I made it through to Superpole 3. There I was forced to do the whole session on a race tyre, but I still managed sixth place. With regard to tomorrow I am feeling pretty confident, our race pace is good so I am really looking forward to getting out there."

Rainer Bäumel (Head of Race Operations):

"It was important for us to make it through to Superpole 3 today so we could qualify for the front two rows. In Superpole the results are determined by how much of a slipstream you have to benefit from. Still we are starting the races tomorrow from fourth and sixth, and we have a good base setting to work with. The races here are always about utilising the slipstream effect to your advantage and I think the podium is a real possibility."


Monza (Italy), Saturday 7th May 2011: a taxing day for the Althea Racing team and rider Carlos Checa at the "Autodromo Nazionale di Monza" today; the Spanish rider closed a hard fought Superpole in eleventh position, meaning he will line up on the third row of tomorrow's starting grid.

In the second qualifying session, which took place this morning on a fairly hot track (34C), Carlos was able to make good progress during the 45 minutes available to him. With the harder tyre solution, Althea's flagbearer was able to lower his best time set yesterday by seven tenths, making his fastest lap in the final seconds of the session. He closed qualifying with the ninth fastest time overall, easily qualifying for the afternoon's Superpole session.

Superpole 1: in this first phase Checa went out first with a soft race tyre, managing to record his quickest lap of the weekend thus far (1'43.001). To be sure of safe passage to the next phase he made a second exit with the first of the two qualifying tyres but was unable to improve on this time, concluding this session in twelfth position.

Superpole 2: with the second qualifier Carlos unfortunately lost precious minutes when he cut the chicane and had his lap time deleted as a result. In the few minutes that were left he did not manage to lower his best time, closing with a best of 1'43.116 that leaves him in eleventh place on tomorrow's starting grid.

Carlos Checa

"It's not easy here for us. We know that we are lacking some speed but tomorrow I think that if I can improve through the first sector we can defend ourselves well. Of course it wouldn't be very realistic to think we can reach the podium but I am confident that we can stay with the front group and we'll try to take the best possible results. It's hard to say how we'll finish but I'll do my best as always and we'll see."

Biaggi and Aprilia blow them all away in Superpole

Monza (Italy), Saturday 7 May 2011 - Reigning champion Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) reasserted himself at his home circuit of Monza with a spectacular display in Superpole qualifying, setting a lap of 1 minute 41.745 seconds to take his first pole position of the 2011 season.

Biaggi had a truly record-breaking day today, the Italian using a qualifying tyre to set his new best lap of the 5.777km circuit together with an all-time record average lap speed in WSBK history of 204.405 km/h. He also set an absolute top speed record, achieving 334.8 km/h in second free qualifying session.

Second in Superpole, some 0.648 seconds behind, was Eugene Laverty (Yamaha Superbike Racing Team) then Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) and Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) completed the front row, making it four different bikes in the top four places.

Max Biaggi: "It was very good, my first Superpole this year. This track is special for us and finally it came after three races in which it has been difficult to be competitive and get back on top. In qualifying we made good set-up trying a few different things, some of which worked and some of which didn't. But we did a good job and Italy is always special for us. For sure, top speed is a help at Monza and you need it, but also good braking and agility helps, and I'm happy with everything."

Eugene Laverty: "It's been a good weekend for us, the fact that the team is pretty much next door to the circuit is nice and hopefully we can have a couple of good races tomorrow and be fighting for the podium. We've been waiting for it for a long time and hopefully tomorrow we can achieve that. The Yamahas managed to challenge the Aprilias on this track last year, so we're looking forward to this weekend to try and challenge Max again."

Jonathan Rea: "For sure I'm very happy to be on the front row of the grid, because the weekend hasn't panned out great so far. We've been working very hard for tomorrow's race, it was pretty critical in the end for tyres with the temperature going up and down, but I'm savouring the moment to be on the front row, it's exactly what we need to get away in the group tomorrow. For sure it'll be a big group but a big ambition of mine is to stand on the podium here at Monza, it'll be very special."

Fifth on the grid for Sunday's 18-lap races is another local legend Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike) with Friday's fastest qualifier Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) sixth. The second row is completed by the last two riders in Superpole 3, Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) and Noriyuki Haga (Pata Aprilia).

A great ride from satellite competitor Ayrton Badovini (BWM Motorrad Italia Superbike) put him ninth, ahead of British rider Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia). Championship leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) was the top twin-cylinder rider on show, 11th, one place up on the battling Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert - Liberty Racing Ducati).

Out of Superpole after a close combined qualifying ranking were big names like Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki Racing Team) and James Toseland (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike), each struggling with injuries, Vermeulen from a first day highside crash that gashed his left elbow and Toseland from an existing operation on his right hand.

Times: 1. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'41.745; 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 1'42.393; 3; 4. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'42.614; 4.Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1'42.688; 5. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 1'42.714; 6. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1'42.723; 7. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'42.954; 8. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'43.043; 9. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'42.886; 10. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'42.995; 11. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'43.116; 12. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'43.146; 13. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'43.090; 14. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'43.437; 15. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1'43.993; 16.Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'44.005; etc.

World Supersport

The ParkinGO Yamahas continue to dominate in the Supersport World Championship, but this time pole position at Monza is in the hands Chaz Davies. The British rider set a quickest time of 1 minute 47.809 seconds around the high-speed track, a couple of tenths quicker than Sam Lowes on the Parkalgar Honda. Broc Parkes took his Kawasaki Motocard.com ZX-6R machine to third place, with the front row completed by Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).

Fifth and sixth place went to two Italians, Roberto Tamburini on the Bike Service Racing Team Yamaha and Luca Scassa with the second ParkinGO Yamaha. Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) continued his Supersport learning curve with the next slot on the grid, and James Ellison took his Bogdanka PTR Honda to the outside row 2 position, one place ahead of Gino Rea (Step Racing Honda).

Times: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1'47.809; 2. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1'48.051; 3. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'48.189; 4.Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1'48.347; 5. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1'48.368; 6. Scassa L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1'48.468; 7. Marino F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1'48.55; 8. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1'49.080; etc.

Superstock 1000

Opening round winner Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) powered to pole position for tomorrow's Superstock 1000 race at Monza with a time of 1 minute 46.044 seconds. The Italian was ahead of the three BMW S 1000 RR machines that have been setting the pace so far, the Italia STK version of Sylvain Barrier, Michele Magnoni (Baru Racing Team) and the other BMW Italia bike of Lorenzo Zanetti. Australian champion Bryan Staring put in an excellent run to take his Kawasaki Pedercini to fifth overall ahead of the second Althea Racing Ducati of Lorenzo Baroni.

Times: 1. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'46.044; 2. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 1'46.261; 3.Magnoni M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'46.352; 4. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'46.358; 5. Staring B. (AUS); Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'46.527; 6. Baroni L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'46.807; 7. Petrucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'46.875; 8. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'47.013; etc.

Supersport 600 – Race

With his win at Monza, young Frenchman Romain Lanusse ((MRS Yamaha Racing France) has now taken over at the top of the European Superstock 600 Championship. Such was Lanusse's domination that the following group were a full six seconds behind in their sprint to the line. The photo-finish saw Dino Lombardi (Martini Corse Yamaha) take the runner-up slot, ahead of American Joshua Day (Racedays Kawasaki), wild-card Franco Morbidelli (Forwards Yamaha), Riccardo Russo (Trasimeno Yamaha) and another wild-card Giuliano Gregorini (RCGM Team Yamaha). In the standings Lanusse is now followed by Dutchman Michael van der Mark, who could only finish tenth.

Results: 1. Lanusse R. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 18'43.803 (185,061 kph); 2. Lombardi D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 6.167; 3. Day J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 6.662; 4. Morbidelli F. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 6.665; 5.Russo R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 6.685; 6. Gregorini G. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 6.829; 7. Vitali L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 7.500; 8. Major N. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 8.398; etc.

Points: 1. Lanusse 45; 2. Lombardi 33; 3. VD Mark 31; 4. Day 23; 5. Russo 20; 6. Calero perez 17; 7. Metcher 16; 8. Morbidelli 13; etc.


Team Suzuki Press Office - May 7.

Team Alstare Suzuki rider Michel Fabrizio qualified seventh in Superpole for tomorrow's World Superbike Championship fourth round at Monza in Italy and will start both 18-lap races from the second row of the grid.

It had been his goal to qualify on the first two rows and he will now be in a good position to challenge the leaders right from the start of the races.

Max Biaggi (Aprilia) took Superpole with a lap of 1:41.745, more than a second faster than the lap record. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) was second with Jonathan Rea (Honda) third and Troy Corser (BMW) fourth.

Michel Fabrizio - 7th, 1:42.954:

"My target for Superpole was to finish with a place on the first two rows of the grid and I achieved that, so I am pretty happy. It is so important to be on the first two rows of the grid here because, although the front straight is quite long, the first chicane is very tight and it's better not to get held up going into it. If that happens, it is difficult to make up the ground again and challenge the leaders.

"I went back to the forks and suspension I knew and I'm sure that was the right choice for me today. I was able to push hard and not worry about trying to understand anything new. I used my two qualifying tyres in Superpole 1 and 2 so did not have any super sticky rubber in Superpole 3. If I had a qualifier in Superpole 3, then maybe I could've finished on the front row of the grid. But, as I said, I am pretty happy with my result today and I am looking forward to tomorrow because I know that I will be able to challenge the leaders right from the start. It's going to be two tough races and I'm sure that slipstreaming will play an important part. I don't think anybody will clear off, so the last lap is going to be a tactical battle, a big fight; and a lot of fun!"

Foret on Monza front row

Fabien Foret continued his recent good form by setting the fourth fastest time in this afternoon's final qualifying session in preparation for tomorrow's fourth round World Supersport championship race at Monza in Italy.

The French ace, who won the title with the Ten Kate Honda team in 2002, endured a tough start to the 2011 season but took a front row start and a podium finish last time out at Assen in the Netherlands.

His young team-mate and compatriot, Florian Marino, set the seventh fastest time as British rider Chaz Davies secured pole position. Marino is satisfied with the progress his team has made with his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR and is looking forward to tomorrow's 16-lap race around the 5.777km Monza circuit.

Fabien Foret - P4

I am much happier than I was yesterday, but I was pretty sure then that we had something for the front row – I just ran out of time. A s long as I can get away well here, then I'm sure we can be near the front when it's important. I like this place, and the bike and the team are working really well so I'm looking forward to fine-tuning things a little bit in warm-up tomorrow and seeing what we can do in the race.

Florian Marino - P7

I am very happy because we found a good way forward today, especially to improve the bike under braking. I'm also happy because I rode by myself and the lap times were coming quite easily which gives me more confidence for the race tomorrow. When I tried to go for a faster time to put me up a little higher, I came across some slower riders which meant I could not get on the front row. But I think that if I can get away with the leading group tomorrow then I can challenge at the front again like at Assen.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

Well, the faces in t he garage are a lot happier tonight, despite the fact that Florian has slipped from a provisional front row to the second line. He is showing consistent speed so I am sure he is ready to race tomorrow. Fabien's crew has worked really hard today to help him get the bike sorted. We're still a little unsure about tyre choice and, basically, it's going to have to be a decision we take on the grid.

Monza front row for Castrol Honda's Rea

Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow's two fourth round World Superbike championship races from the front row of the grid after setting the third fastest time in this afternoon's Superpole sessions at Monza.

Pole position was taken by local rider Max Biaggi, as 24-year-old Rea worked diligently with his crew to find an improved race set-up for the two 18-lap races around the 5.777km picturesque and historic Monza circuit just north of Milan in northern Italy.

After setting the pace in yesterday's opening free practice session, Rea has spent subsequent sessions concentrating on optimizing the tyre wear on his Castrol Honda CBR1000RR to last each of tomorrow's two races.

His team-mate Ruben Xaus just missed out on a lap that was quick enough to guarantee a place with the final 16 riders to contest Superpole. The Spaniard will consequently start from 17th position on the grid.

Jonathan Rea – P3

To be honest, I'm very happy and savouring the moment to be on the front row here because we've had a bit of an up and down weekend so far. We've been working really, really hard for tomorrow's races and the tyre choice is critical again here with the temperature going up and down. The front row is really important to get away with the front group, which will be quite a group I think. A big ambition of mine is to stand on the podium here at Monza – it would be really special, so I'll be trying my hardest to achieve that tomorrow.

Ruben Xaus – P17

Of course, it's been a disappointing day and there's not really much I can say. I feel OK on the bike but we tested a few things today to achieve a good basic set-up and went in the wrong direction. We're all in it together and, as a team, we are all working very hard and we must take the bad times together like we take the good times. We still had some brake problems today, but also some traction issues. We weren't so far away yesterday and maybe we should have spent more time to get into a rhythm with that before trying so hard to improve it some more. Anyway, we'll see if we can find something in warm-up tomorrow and, of course, I will be trying my best in both the races.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

We've been spending a lot of time this weekend working with Jonathan on used race tyres in various combinations, so we never really knew how fast he was going to be on a soft tyre for a single fast lap. But he was really quite good at it! The front row is important here at Monza because we don't want to let the leading group get away, so we're hoping he can hop on to the high-speed train with three or four other riders. Unfortunately, things are not quite so good on Ruben's side of the garage. We can't expect a miracle overnight but we've got some other things to try in warm-up tomorrow that we hope can propel him forward in the races.

Front Row on Grid for Laverty Ahead of Tomorrow's Race Day in Monza

Yamaha World Superbike Team rider Eugene Laverty provided the Italian spectators in Monza with a sensational performance, securing himself a front row start, in second place on tomorrow's grid. Laverty comfortably flew through all three Superpole heats, completing the first in fifth position and the second and third sessions in second place, making the most of his qualifiers in the final heats.

Marco Melandri was also on top form, completing Superpole two , less than a tenth of a second ahead of his Irish team-mate, topping the time sheets with an impressive 1'42.201. The Italian was less fortunate in the third and final heat, just missing out on a front row start ahead of tomorrow's two races, completing Superpole three in fifth place. Unfortunately Melandri struggled on exiting the infamous Ascari chicane and was unable to put in his fastest time and earn himself the front row grid start that he was fighting for.

Both Yamaha World Superbike riders are heading to tomorrow's race day determined to provide the spectators with skillful racing on the team's home track in Monza. The YZF-R1 has been successful on the historic track in the past and results over the weekend so far prove it could well be a strong podium contender again.

Eugene Laverty

Yamaha World Superbike Team - 2nd, 1'42.393

"It's been a great weekend so far. The team's workshop is literally just down the road so it really means a lot to me to do well here in Monza. Hopefully we can have two good races tomorrow. I'll definitely be fighting for the podium! I've been waiting for it for quite a while, so I'm planning on finally achieving that tomorrow. The R1 has always been strong here in Monza so I'm really looking forward the race. "

Marco Melandri

Yamaha World Superbike Team - 5th, 1'42.714

"It was a relatively good day but we're still having difficulty finding the right set-up . We seem to have a good rhythm for the race and that's good but on a qualifying tyre the bike was a little agitated, so I struggled exiting the fast corner. We still have time to improve and I'm confident that we are making progress. Tomorrow is another day, so let's see what happens."

Andrea Dosoli - Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager

"Firstly congratulations to Eugene, that was an amazing Qualifying session. He proved to be consistent on a race tyre and also put in a fantastic time on his flying Superpole lap. It's very important that he has secured a front row start, so we are confident he can do well in tomorrow's races. Eugene has demonstrated today that he is making constant progress. Unfortunately Marco has been struggling a bit all weekend. He has tested various set-ups, even during this afternoon's free practice. During the final Superpole session he suffered a lack of stability on exiting the "Ascari". The team have made progress over the weekend but there's still a lot of work to do. We know Marco can do really well over a full race distance, even from the second row, so I'm not too concerned."

Maiden Pole Position for Davies in Monza

Yamaha ParkinGO rider Chaz Davies got straight down to business in today's second Qualifying session to take his maiden pole of the 2011 World Supersport Championship. Yet again, the Brit dominated the time sheets for the duration of the session, qualifying in first place more than two tenths of a second ahead of Lowes in second, once again showing how powerful the Yamaha R6 is. Davies takes pole position on the grid for tomorrow's race while fellow Yamaha ParkinGO rider sits just behind on the second row in sixth position.

Luca Scassa also put in a series of impressively fast laps this afternoon and was sitting just behind Davies, in second place for the majority of the second Qualifying session. Unfortunately closing in too tight on another rider just ahead, Scassa was unable to make a clear pass, causing him to crash. Despite this misfortune, the Italian completed the afternoon's session in sixth place.

Chaz Davies

Yamaha ParkinGO Team - 1st, 1'47.809

"I'm really pleased with the day. We tried out the tyres we were considering for the race and even though I got my fastest lap on them, I'm not sure it would be the right choice for the race. Towards the end of the session we tried a softer tyre which gave us better results. We made some small changes to the set up of the bike this morning and everything seems to be going pretty well. I just need to get my head down tomorrow and see what I can do. "

Luca Scassa

Yamaha ParkinGO Team - 6th, 1'48.468

"What can I say. I'm disappointed with the session. I was doing pretty well, putting in some fast laps and trying to secure myself a front row start for tomorrow before I fell. I'll start the race from the second row so I need to make sure I get a good start right off the grid. But I'm confident that I can be consistent and do well!"



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