Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams ahead of this weekend's WSBK round at the iconic Monza circuit:
Rea completes Assen test – Akiyoshi to ride at Monza
Jonathan Rea completed a two-day test at the TT Circuit Assen in The Netherlands on Thursday following his podium at the circuit last weekend in race one of the third-round 2013 World Superbike championship event.
The 26-year-old Pata Honda rider from Northern Ireland got through a lot of work on his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, including the testing of a new fuel tank to optimise weight distribution and aerodynamics.
However, Rea completed his Assen Superbike test without team-mate Leon Haslam who is recuperating from a broken leg sustained in a practice crash at Assen last Friday. The 29-year-old British rider had an operation to pin his left tibia on Sunday and is optimistic about an early return to action.
Unfortunately, Haslam will miss next week’s fourth-round World Superbike event at Monza in Italy and the Pata Honda team has announced that he will be replaced for the two races by Japanese rider Kosuke Akiyoshi.
Akiyoshi rides a CBR1000RR Fireblade in the All Japan Superbike championship, a series that he is currently leading and which he won in 2010 and 2011. The 38-year-old from Kurume in Japan is also a three-time Suzuka 8-hours winner, most recently in 2012 with Jonathan Rea.
It’s been a good test and we made some positive progress with traction control and throttle opening, which allows me to get on the gas earlier with more confidence. We also made some positive suspension changes at the rear, which keeps the bike more stable as I open the throttle, and we made improvements in other areas, too. I felt like it’s the first test this season where we’ve actually been able to make refinements to the bike, rather than get basic things sorted, and that’s very positive. I was really happy with the lap times, too – not just for the sake of a fast lap but because of how the time is coming, which is more comfortable now. I’m looking forward to seeing Akiyoshi-san again and to welcoming him to my team, rather than the other way round. I think we can learn a lot from his experience as a development rider because I’ve ridden both the RCV213V and the Suzuka 8-hour bikes that he’s worked o n, and I know how good they are.
I’ve just been chilling since I got out of hospital, really. I saw my physiotherapist today [Thursday] and we’re getting a plan together but we need to wait for the swelling to go down before we can get to work. I’m back to see the doctor next week and get the staples out of the leg – then I can start some pool work, too. It’s a shame to be missing Monza, but the following race at Donington Park is my target to come back. It will be good to get Akiyoshi on the bike next week though. His feedback will be useful and Monza shouldn’t be too difficult for him to learn.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
We’ve done a lot of testing at Assen over the years so you can imagine that whenever we get the bike to go faster round there it’s quite exciting. That’s what we were able to achieve at this test, even without Leon, who is beginning his rehabilitation at home and we wish him all the best for a speedy return to the team. Jonathan was able to test some new chassis parts for better stability and we have been able to further refine the electronics package, which all goes to help the progress we are now making. Monza will bring its own challenges next week, but it has a few corners, as I remember, as well as some long straights!
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Monza - Preview
Munich/Milan, 6th May 2013. The next round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship marks the first of three home rounds for the German-Italian BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team. The fourth round of the season will see the series head to the iconic “Autodromo Nazionale di Monza” in the north of Italy this weekend (10th to 12th May). The race track is located close to the Milan headquarters of BMW Motorrad Italia, which is responsible for the works teams’ race and test outings as well as the chassis development.
Factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) has already celebrated two victories with his BMW S 1000 RR this season. In the Riders’ classification, he is currently third with 83 points, tied on points with second placed Eugene Laverty (IRL) and Tom Sykes (GBR / fourth). His Italian team-mate Marco Melandri for several reasons has had a difficult season so far but has finished twice on the podium. He is currently eighth with 51 points. For Marco, Monza is his first home round of the season. In the Manufacturers’ Classification, BMW is second with 99 points.
Last year, the action on the Sunday was significantly cut short at Monza. After heavy rainfall, the first race had to be completely cancelled and the second one had to be shortened to eight laps. To prevent a repeat of last year’s issues, the track was resurfaced in the ‘Parabolica’ section in order to improve the drainage and to smoothen the formerly bumpy surface.
For the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team with riders Sylvain Barrier (FRA) and Greg Gildenhuys (RSA), Monza marks the third round of the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup. Sylvain won the first race at Aragón (ESP) and finished second at round two at Assen (NED) on his brand new BMW HP4. In the Riders’ classification, he is leading with 45 points.
Monza from the rider’s point of view:
“I am looking forward to Monza. It is quite different to most circuits because the track has not many corners but very fast straights. We have been to the wind tunnel last week and we will try to transfer the things we learned there to Monza. The track with its long straights should suit our powerful RR quite well, and I am confident that we will have one of the most competitive bikes in Monza. But power on the straights is not everything. We will work on further improving the chassis a little bit and on finding the best settings for this track. Overall, I hope for a smoother weekend than in Assen and then we will see how things go. The atmosphere at Italian races is always something special, the fans are so excited and you feel that Italy is the heart of Superbike racing in Europe. Hopefully everybody will have a good weekend and enjoy some exciting racing.”
“I really like Monza because it is a unique track and in dry conditions it is just a great circuit. In wet conditions, on the contrary, it is really difficult to ride a bike there, so I’m hoping for good weather. Regarding my physical condition, I am pretty satisfied. I am continuing with my training and expect to be quite fit for the race. On the other hand, Monza is not a physicalyl demanding track, so I think that I will not struggle with my shoulder, also because there are not too many corners. It will be really important to exit these corners in the best possible way in order to be as fast as possible on the straights. Unfortunately this is the area where I am still struggling and don’t feel as comfortable as I should, but overall I am confident for the races. I think that we are well positioned, especially with our strong BMW engine.”
Monza from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Monza is always a special round. The people are looking forward to it and the interest in the race is huge. In addition, the whole team regards Monza as one of their home tracks. Both Marco and Chaz are extremely motivated. Monza is a fast track they really like and, thanks also to the characteristics of our bike, we are sure that both will do very well. Marco will be quite fit for his mission to overcome the unlucky previous race and we are working hard to allow him to be up in the front positions – where he is used to being. Chaz showed in Assen, how maturely he manages tense situations. I am sure that in Monza he will be very strong and put the previous race behind him. In the Superstock class, we have to continue the positive trend. Monza is a track which suits our bike and, even if our rivals will be very competitive, Sylvain and Greg will surely give us a good weekend.”
Monza from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Monza is another historical race-track. It is unique for several reasons but mainly for its speed. It is the fastest race track of the calendar with an average speed over 200 km/h. There are three straights where we can shift up to sixth gear, reaching more than 320 km/h. In Monza, the engine performance and the aerodynamic package play a very important role, but we should’t forget the braking stability and the good handling which are essential in the chicanes around the track.
We’ve been working hard in all the areas of the bike. This included an important test in the wind tunnel in which Chaz, as Marco did last year, focused on finding the best riding position for the long straights. We will find a new track surface at Monza which should have fixed the issues we had last year in the famous ‘Parabolica’. We’re all hoping for stable weather conditions as we have some work to do on the set-up of the RRs for our two riders. After all the unlucky issues we experienced in Assen, we have worked hard to consolidate our performance, learning from the past and looking forward to be back in the fight with the top riders.”
Monza from Pirelli’s point of view:
Pirelli is ready to race on its home track with the new 17 inch Diablo Superbike tyres. The length of the Monza straight stretches, the sustained high speeds and violence of the braking zones place stress on the central part of the tyre with demands that no other track in the championship has. Basically, the thermal energy developed at a zero lean angle both in acceleration and in braking is about 5 times greater than that developed at Assen. Then there is the thermal demand on the right-hand shoulder which, especially in the Biassono turn, stays in a lean for a long time in acceleration, reaching thermal energy values on the shoulder that begin to approach the record levels of Phillip Island. For the Superbike class, Pirelli offers four dry solutions for the front and three for the rear. These are joined, as always, by the rear qualifier, the intermediate and the wet tyres. On the front, there will be an SC1 solution and three SC2 solutions. The standard SC1 and SC2 slicks (R426 and R982), which were already used in the first three rounds of the current season, are joined by two development SC2 solutions that Pirelli had as yet only brought to Phillip Island: the R1220 that looks like a more robust and more protected SC2 compared to the standard one and the R753 which is even more robust than the R1220, to the advantage of even greater wear resistance.
For the rear three solutions are planned which Pirelli considers to be development solutions because, although they retain the standard tyre compounds, they integrate particular measures in order to handle the problems created by the Italian track, just one of which is the reinforced compound at the central portion of the tyre. For the first time in the 2013 season there will be an SC0 blend solution (S515), the softest available, which should be used in high temperatures. This tyre is basically like the standard SC0 which has the same compound, but it has a reinforced central strip which is able to provide protection against blistering. The SC0 is joined by two SC1 development solutions in medium hardness compound, the S513 which differs from the standard version only with a reinforced central section and the S514 which, in addition to the reinforced central section, was specifically designed with different internal structure and materials in order to keep operating temperatures particularly low. The peculiarity of reinforcing the central tread strip adopted for the rear race solutions will also be used on the qualifying tyre available to the riders for the Superpole sessions. These tyres have four pink stripes on them instead of the usual yellow stripes in honour of Mother's Day which is celebrated in many countries on Sunday race day, 12th May.
The high-speed circuit in Monza’s Royal Park was opened in 1922 and is one of the most iconic racetracks in the world. Monza, a town with a population of 120,000 to the north of Milan, is closely associated with the history of motorsport. Automobile and motorcycle races have been held at the “Autodromo Nazionale di Monza” for 90 years. Fans all over the world are familiar with corners such as the “Parabolica”, “Lesmo” and “Ascari”.
Over the past few decades, the circuit has been the subject of multiple modifications. Monza is one of the classic races on the Formula One calendar, and the Superbike World Championship has been a regular there since 1990. In 2010 it was the scene of BMW Motorrad’s first major milestone in the Superbike World Championship, when Troy Corser claimed the team’s maiden podium.
Monza is very different to the other circuits on the calendar. The long straights and ultra-quick corners mean the bike must perform well and have a good top speed. However, the high-speed layout of the circuit is interrupted by many stop-and-go sections, which really test the durability and stability of the brakes. These include the particularly slow first chicane. The bike must be well balanced when braking, whilst at the same time accelerating well out of corners.
One particular challenge is the high-speed “Biassono” corner, in which riders must accelerate for a long time whilst leaning into the turn. The mixture of constantly high speeds and zones demanding hard braking puts the centre of the tyre under greater strain than at any other circuit.
Team SBK Ducati Alstare in Italy for SBK Round 4 at Monza
Tuesday 7th May 2013: The historic Monza circuit will host the World Superbikes this coming weekend and Team SBK Ducati Alstare and its riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini are busy preparing to race at what is the fastest track on the championship calendar.
Just over a week ago the Ducati Alstare outfit participated in Round 3 of the championship at Assen in The Netherlands. Despite some solid results in the practice sessions, neither rider was able to secure the results they had hoped for in Sunday’s races. Carlos’ situation was not helped by the pain he felt in his left shoulder during the races, and which worsened over the following days.
A medical check-up for Carlos post-Assen unfortunately revealed an osseous edema on the head of the humerus of the left shoulder, an injury that probably results from a previous trauma and which has worsened and become inflamed as a result of effort made during the races. The Spanish rider has undergone an intense course of physiotherapy treatment to reduce the inflammation and the trauma, in order to be physically fit for this weekend’s races at Monza. Checa’s best result at the track thus far was a seventh place finish in race 2 just last season. Badovini has had mixed results at this challenging Italian track in recent years. His best Superbike result to date was sixth in 2011, while he won his Stock 1000 race the previous year. With many of the team’s sponsors based in the north of Italy, Team SBK Ducati Alstare and the riders will be able to count on the support of several hundred guests at this weekend’s event.
Set in extensive parkland, the historic ‘Autodromo di Monza’ was constructed in 1922 and is today characterized by two long straights, the longest of which measures 1195m. The World Championship has visited the Monza racetrack almost every year since 1990, with the exceptions of ’91 e ’94. Last year’s round was disrupted by heavy rain and related safety concerns that resulted in the cancellation of race 1 and a shortened race 2.
‘During the last couple of events, especially in the races themselves, I’ve been having some problems with my left shoulder but the evening after the second race in Assen the pain got a lot worse. I went to see a specialist once I got back to Spain after that round and unfortunately he’s told me that I have an osseous edema on the humerus. I will continue to receive treatment in Spain up until Thursday and I hope that that will help me to get through this coming weekend without any problems.’
Checa’s Superbike form at Monza:
2012: Race 1 – n/a, Race 2 – 7th
2011: Race 1 – 9th, Race 2 – 10th
2010: Race 1- 14th, Race 2 – 11th
2009: Race 1 – 9th, Race 2 – 10th
2008: Race 1 – 8th, Race 2 – DNF
‘I’ve always enjoyed the Monza round, it’s always fun to race at home. It will be challenging because of the long straights but we’ll do our best to bring home the best possible result. Being one of two Italian events, I hope that there’ll be a good crowd, fans, sponsors... The support of the people, at an event like Monza, really helps and spurs me on.’
Badovini’s Superbike form at Monza:
2012: Gara 1- n/a, Gara 2 – 10th
2011: Gara 1- 11th, Gara 2 – 6th
2008: Gara 1 – DNF˚, Gara 2 – 9th
APRILIA RACING TAKES ON THE FIRST ITALIAN ROUND OF THE WORLD SUPERBIKE SEASON, FORTIFIED BY THEIR DOUBLE LEADERSHIP.
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI AND EUGENE LAVERTY ARE FIRST AND SECOND IN THE RIDER STANDINGS.
APRILIA LEADS THE MANUFACTURER CHAMPIONSHIP.
Noale, 7 May 2013 - After an exciting start, to say the least, the World Superbike Championship embarks on Italy for a round full of thrills and history. In fact, the factory derivative bikes will be tackling the Monza circuit which has always been a stage for challenges that come down to the last turn and record setting speeds. This is a special track for Aprilia, reigning World SBK champion, which has always held their Italian heritage high and won exciting victories thanks to the extraordinary performance of the super fast RSV4.
The 2013 season finds the brand from Noale at the top after three rounds, leading both the Rider and Manufacturer championships. Sylvain Guintoli's championship lead is completed by Eugene Laverty's second place, arriving fresh from a win in Race 2 at Assen and back with a vengeance at the top of the SBK Championship. For the Aprilia riders Monza is charged with significance and motivation, reinforced by Eugene and Sylvain's paster performances on this asphalt: the lad from Northern Ireland took the Supersport victory here in 2010 and in 2011 on his SBK début, while Frenchman Guintoli won the 2012 Superpole under very difficult conditions.
"I am very excited about riding my RSV4 in Monza – confirms Sylvain Guintoli – We came here as ranking leaders, just as the championship is getting heated up. I like this track and it suits the Aprilia perfectly. Hopefully we can beat the all time Superbike top speed record and come back with 2 strong results".
Eugene Laverty is of the same opinion, charged up from his victory at Assen: "It was important to bounce back with a race victory in Assen. Honestly I didn't expect to win, which gives me a lot of confidence going into one of our strongest circuits on the calendar. Top speed is very important at Monza and the RSV4 has plenty of that. Let's hope the weather stays dry and that we can enjoy two great races on Sunday".
And on the occasion of the first Italian World SBK round Aprilia invites all motorcycle fans to try out the brand new Caponord 1200 from 9 May to Sunday 12 May and to see the extremely sporty 2013 range. At the Aprilia space in the Monza SBK Village, just a short stroll from the Paddock, the entire Aprilia range will be available for your hands-on pleasure: from the unbeatable RSV4 to the Dorsoduro 1200, from the Shiver 750 to the SRV 850, the most powerful and fastest scooter in the world. You can make an appointment to test the Aprilia Caponord, the new street enduro, directly at the Aprilia Space.
Aprilia Caponord 1200 can be test ridden at the following times:
- Thursday 9 May, from 11:00 to 18:00
- Friday 10 May, from 10:00 to 18:00
- Saturday 11 May, from 10:00 to 18:00
- Sunday 12 May, from 10:00 to 13:00
Monza mission for Morais
PTR HONDA'S Sheridan Morais is looking to kick-start his racing season at Monza in Italy, the fourth round of the World Supersport Championship, this Sunday, May 12th.
After a combination of bad luck and injury at the opening three rounds, the likeable South African is determined to make his mark at a track where PTR Honda finished 1-2 in 2012 with a bike that clearly relishes the fast straights and turns.
Sheridan said: "My shoulder injury is healing well and I am determined it will not hold me back at Monza. This is a track I like and will favour the super-fast PTR race bikes. It's like the season starts here for me and I am determined to be fighting at the front in the race."
David Linortner is another PTR Honda racer who is yet to achieve his undoubted potential and score decent points. The long straights of Monza will be to his liking as he targets the top 12.
Luca Marconi has enjoyed a best ever start to a season and with Monza being a home round, he is expected to give it his all and another top 10 finish is his aim.
Nacho Calero and Matt Davies are two talented rookies that will be looking to make the most of their PTR Hondas. Learning fast, points scoring finishes are not far away for them and Monza is another opportunity to get deep inside the top 20 for both. The race starts at 1330 CET on Sunday, May 12th.
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "We are a strong team and have taken stock of our recent results and have made some changes to get us back where we belong at Monza.
"Sheridan has recovered well and is looking forward to the racing. We know we have got a competitive bike and rider and aim to be fighting for the podium at a track that should favour our package.
"We expect Luca to be highly motivated at a home round for him, especially as he carries a lot of top speed that should be a real advantage at Monza.
"David is yet to show his real potential after a tough start but when he does he will be a regular top 10 finisher and we will be helping him to achieve that at Monza.
"Nacho and Matt need to continue learning and improving and the results will come. They both have ability and determination so we look forward to seeing what they can achieve."
WSBK Stk600 - San Carlo Team Italia ready to take the stage in Monza
The third round of the European Stock 600 championship kicks off in the temple of speed.
In Assen both San Carlo Team Italia riders scored points and, riding their Kawasaki ZX-6R, they're ready to take advantage of the home round.
Morbidelli won on this track last year in CIV and was ninth in the European GP, and aims at cutting the gap in the standings: Aragon and Assen showed his potential, and he can fight for the podium on Saturday.
The positive start by Nocco also gives hope for another positive result: Alessandro is maturing quickly, and after scoring his maiden points in Assen he is ready to take it a step forward.
A. Nocco (Download HD photo )
F. Morbidelli (Download HD photo )
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We had higher hopes for the first two races, but the tracks were not so favorable. Finally the calendar will come to help us. We were ready to fight on the home soil. I'm sure this race will be different: we know the track well and it fits the characteristics of our bikes. We are confident and excited to chase the podium."
Supersport World Championship
After solving the problems that penalized him in Assen, Riccardo Russo is confident ahead of Monza. The Puccetti Racing Kawasaki rider showed he can fight against the best of the crop: after winning in Monza last year in the Stk600 race, he will try to score another important result in his home race.
"Never Give Up" in the fight against rare neurological diseases
• Ducati and Alstare symbolically pass their motto on to the ‘Fondazione Il Bene’, working to support those affected by rare neurological and neuroimmune diseases
• The logo of the ‘Fondazione Il Bene’ on Team SBK Ducati Alstare’s bikes during the Monza race weekend
• A stand selling celebrative t-shirts in Monza’s SBK village, providing the Superbike fans with the chance to meet the staff of the ‘Fondazione Il Bene’ and join in with other initiatives
Monza, 8 May 2013 – The Monza event, the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship, taking place between 10 and 12 May, will see a symbolic but significant meeting between Ducati and Team SBK Ducati Alstare, and the ‘Fondazione il Bene’, that works to support those affected by rare neurological and neuroimmune diseases.
On Saturday morning, at 11.15, between the two track sessions that precede the Superpole, Team SBK Ducati Alstare and its two riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini will take to the stage in the Paddock Show to meet the Foundation's staff and symbolically pass on the famous motto ‘Never Give Up’, something that Ducati has always believed in. The phrase will be reproduced on a T-shirt created especially by the Foundation and which will be on sale to the fans at Monza. A dedicated corner will be set up in the SBK village where the Superbike crowd will be able to buy the exclusive T-shirt (designed for the occasion by well-known Italian cartoonist ‘Matitaccia’), with the money raised helping to fund the Foundation’s activities. To mark the occasion, Team SBK Ducati Alstare’s 1199 Panigale bikes will display the ‘Il Bene’ logo on their fairings over the race weekend.
Team SBK Ducati Alstare, that has a long-standing relationship with the ‘Fondazione Il Bene’, will use the Monza races as an opportunity to give support and visibility to the delicate and important issue of rare neurological and neuroimmune diseases that unfortunately affect many people, conditioning their lives. Many of the SBK riders, not only Team SBK Ducati Alstare’s flag bearers, will support the initiative, personalising the T-shirts with their signatures and assisting the Foundation with communication and PR activities over the weekend.
The ‘Fondazione il Bene’, established in September 2011, has the specific goal of providing social solidarity to help those affected by rare neurological and neuroimmune diseases. The Foundation promotes the development of scientific research activities that are of social interest in the field of neuroscience, focusing particularly on rare neurological and neuroimmune diseases, and also proposes activity in the areas of social services and healthcare, aimed at those who are disadvantaged in that they are affected by rare neurological and neuroimmune diseases.
The Foundation is the ideal and natural reference point for the continuation and development of research work, support and treatment carried out by Doctor Fabrizio Salvi, head of “Il BeNe Centre for the diagnosis and treatment of rare neurological and neuroimmune diseases’, and his colleagues at the Ospedale Bellaria in Bologna. The modus operandi of the centre is the ‘taking care’ of the patient right from the moment of diagnosis and the involvement of other disciplines in addition to neurological ones.
This meeting with Ducati and Team Alstare, further enhanced by Doctor Salvi’s passion for motorcycling, also highlights similarities between the organisations. The Borgo Panigale-based manufacturer, the colourful Superbike paddock and the ‘Fondazione Il Bene’ follow a parallel and similar path in terms of both their methods (the bike/the patient in the centre, around which each person uses his competences to work towards a common objective: to win) and their ‘style’ (or rather the famous motto: "Never Give Up"), fighting and continuing to believe in their ideals, accepting competition and overcoming every kind of obstacle.
Two very different battles where only perseverance and the strength of will, together with competence and research, can lead to the achievement of results.
The appointment is fixed for Monza, with the SBK riders and Team SBK Ducati Alstare’s bikes, at the gazebo dedicated to the ‘Fondazione Il Bene’, strategically placed in the SBK village, to guarantee support and solidarity to those who fight, challenge and research in order to improve the lives of those affected by these diseases.
MONZA WSB BECKONS FOR FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI
Team Suzuki Press Office - May 8.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki is on its way to the picturesque Monza circuit in Italy for the fourth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship that will be held this weekend.
Jules Cluzel will be heading to a track that holds happy memories for the Frenchman: He scored his maiden World Supersport victory at the Italian circuit, on his way to runner-up in last year's championship. Cluzel is still on a fast and steep "Superbike" learning curve, so the quick Monza circuit will certainly test his knowledge as he looks to continue with the promising form he has already shown so far this season on the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki.
Leon Camier is still recovering from the knee injury he sustained at Aragon last month; he has now had the stitches removed from the injury and is working hard to regain full fitness and movement in the joint. Camier is looking to the Monza event to regain his riding fitness following a brave comeback at Assen - just two weeks after having surgery on his knee. He showed true determination and courage to produce two good rides in The Netherlands and will now be aiming to take the next step towards full strength and kick-start his season.
The 'Autodromo Nazionale Monza' is a located near the town of Monza, just north of Milan. The 5,777m layout has five left turns and eight right-handers as the configuration makes its way through scenic parkland setting, through many wooded areas and past residential dwellings. It's a mix of very long straights and tight chicanes, making good braking stability and traction as important as the high speeds that the bikes can attain over the layout, especially on its famous 1.195 kilometre long front straight, which sees the riders achieve speeds of over 320 kph. The circuit is often referred to as the 'Temple of Speed' and is a daily destination for tourists from Italy and abroad.
Cluzel and Camier will take to the track for the first free practice session on Friday morning as they begin their preparations for Sunday's two races, the first of which is scheduled to get underway at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST).
"I love Monza, so I will be trying my best to get a good result there. It's a very fast track so we have a different set-up for there and I think this will help my riding. It was a completely new circuit to me last season, but I was able to learn the track very quickly and after a few laps I was really enjoying it, and at the end of the weekend I won that race. It has a lot of fast corners and it's really grippy and I went well in the wet and dry conditions last year, but I now have to learn how to ride a Superbike there - which will be very different to the 600 last year. The weather looks like being very good so I'm really looking forward to the weekend."
"I'm expecting a pretty hard weekend at Monza, regardless of my fitness. It's a tough and fast circuit to race at, but we have a few things to try and if we get the set-up right and the chassis working well we might be able to make some advantages count on the track that will help us.
"My knee is getting better all the time and I'm working hard to get it fully fit. It was pretty swollen after the race at Assen, but since then I've had the stitches out and it's healed really well. It's ok now, but still quite sore. I've done lots of gym work and a bit of hiking in the mountains to get it stronger and the movement better. It will still take a bit of time to get it 100%, but I am looking forward to getting back on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki to get myself bike fit, especially with my home race coming up soon."
Rea and Akiyoshi seek Monza speed
The Pata Honda team has travelled to Italy for this weekend's fourth-round World Superbike championship event at the Autodromo Nationale di Monza, just north of Milan.
Jonathan Rea is in good form following his second and fourth place finishes in round three at Assen in the Netherlands two weeks ago. The 26-year-old from Northern Ireland also enjoyed a successful test at the Dutch circuit following the race weekend.
Rea's Pata Honda crew has further refined the new electronics package on his CBR1000RR machine and he will debut a new fuel tank this weekend to optimise aerodynamics on the long Monza straights, as well as enhancing weight distribution.
Rea is joined at Monza by Japanese rider Kosuke Akiyoshi, who is replacing the injured Leon Haslam. Akiyoshi has not ridden the SBK-specification CBR or Pirelli tyres before, and the weekend will mark his first visit to Monza. However, the 38-year-old from Kurume partnered Jonathan Rea to last season's Suzuka 8-hour victory with Tadayuki Okada.
The 5.777km Autodromo Nationale di Monza has hosted spectacular motorsport events since the 1920s and has a fine tradition of high-speed slipstreaming battles in Superbike racing, often producing tantalizingly close finishes.
The Monza Superbike action kicks off tomorrow morning at 11.45 local time, with Superpole on Saturday afternoon at 15.00 to determine final grid positions for Sunday's two 18-lap races.
It’s always good to be back in Italy and at Monza, which is in such a nice area and always brings a really enthusiastic crowd. We had a two-day test after Assen which has got me even more comfortable with the new electronics but there’s really nothing that you can test to prepare for Monza’s longs straights and the horsepower that they require. It’s a circuit that gives us some bigger challenges than others, but I’m looking forward to getting stuck in on Friday.
I arrived from Japan only yesterday but I had a good sleep after doing a few laps of Monza on a scooter. It is a very good circuit with lots of chicanes and high speed straights and it looks like a lot of fun. I’ve seen some races on TV and it is very fast at Monza! Of course, everything is different for me on this CBR – suspension, tyres and electronics. But I think the package is good and, although I might have to adapt my riding style, my target for the weekend is to reach the podium.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
We’re bringing Jonathan’s good results at Assen to Monza, which makes us reasonably confident about the weekend ahead. The last few years we haven’t quite had the pace for podiums but we’ve been running in the top five and we’ve seen some good lap times. I see no reason why we should not fight for top places and maybe even the podium this time with Jonathan. We welcome Akiyoshi-san to the team to replace Leon here but it’s a case of wait and see at the moment. He’s new to the team, to the bike, to the tyres, to the circuit, but we wish him the best and, whatever the results, we look forward to a joyful weekend with him.
Monza awaits the eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Rome (Italy), Tuesday 7 May 2013 - The eni FIM Superbike World Championship returns to Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale for the 4th round of the season, with riders ready to take on the fastest track in the calendar. Following the two races at Assen, Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) is still the Championship leader at 111. The Frenchman, who ended his 7 podium-finish streak in race 2, is now looking forward to riding his works RSV4 on a track that exalts the top-speed of the vee-four Aprilia engine.
Guintoli will have to face fierce competition from a trio of riders ready to challenge him for the lead: team mate Eugene Laverty, double winner at Monza two years ago – in his rookie season – and boosted by the outstanding race 2 win of the last round, is tied in points at 83 with Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) - who dominated in 2011 the weekend in Supersport thanks to a pole position, a win and the fastest lap - and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), the latest race winner at Monza.
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) welcomes Kousuke Akiyoshi, former team mate in last year’s Suzuka 8 Hour win, who has been selected as substitute for injured Leon Haslam for the upcoming round, while the British rider is speeding up his recovery in order to race at Donington Park later this month. Rea and the team can count on the experience of the 38 year old from Japan – HRC official test rider – to further improve the CBR1000RR after some good indications from the recent two-day test at Assen.
First of two home races for Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), who is back from the unfortunate Sunday at Assen, and for Michel Fabrizio, who scored his maiden World Superbike race win in 2009 at Monza (race 1).
Good memories for Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) from last year’s victory in the Supersport race – his career’s first top-step finish in the series. Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) are about to face a tough challenge on a track that didn’t suit well the Ducati bikes in recent times. The 1199 Panigale R, though, will feature a 52mm air restrictor as per FIM regulations about the performance balance between twin and four-cylinder machines (article 220.127.116.11.3. - also confirmed on a note last April, 28 after race 2 at Assen TT Circuit).
Standings: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 111; 2. Laverty (Aprilia) 83; 3. Davies (BMW) 83; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 83; 5. Rea (Honda) 63; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 58; 7. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 53; 8. Melandri (BMW) 51; 9. Cluzel (Suzuki) 41; 10. Giugliano (Aprilia) 33; 11. Camier (Suzuki) 30; 12. Checa (Ducati) 29; 13. Haslam (Honda) 29; 14. Neukirchner (Ducati) 29; 15. Badovini (Ducati) 20; etc.
Following the close two-way battle at Assen, Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) will be back on the track that saw both riders completing the podium behind race winner – and now World Superbike rookie – Jules Cluzel. The reigning Champion from Turkey, scored his only victory so far at Monza in 2007 (his first title season).
Championship leader Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), known for not being at ease on wet track conditions, hopes to find good weather to score another positive result on a favourable track for the French veteran – who won in 2002 and 2008, was 2nd in 2007 and 3rd in 2009 and 2011.
2nd place in the standings Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) has never managed - in the two years racing STK600 - to achieve a podium finish at Monza. Team mate Lorenzo Zanetti, on the other hand, scored his first and only victory in 2011 by finishing the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race with just 0.065 seconds margin over Davide Giugliano (title winner at the end of the year).
Roberto Rolfo (ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse) has bad memories of his home-track from 2007, when he was racing with Honda in the Superbike class. Italian was forced to pull in from race 1 during the final lap, while he was in 2nd place.
Standings: 1. Foret (Kawasaki) 54; 2. Vd Mark (Honda) 49; 3. Lowes (Yamaha) 45; 4. Sofuoglu (Yamaha) 45; 5. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 29; 6. Scassa (Kawasaki) 26; 7. Zanetti (Honda) 24; 8. Kennedy (Honda) 24; 9. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 17; 10. Roccoli (Yamaha) 14; 11. Russo (Kawasaki) 13; 12. Leonov (Yamaha) 12; 13. Marino (Kawasaki) 11; 14. Salom (Kawasaki) 11; 15. Coghlan 11 (Kawasaki); etc.
Last year’s STK1000 race at Monza was a turn of events after the first two rounds of domination by Sylvain Barrier. The defending Champion and current leader tackled the race with a dislocated shoulder and, despite his effort to finish the 11-lap race, had a crash at “Variante Ascari” that worsened his injury and led to his first DNF of the season.
Lorenzo Savadori won the race, and rode the 1199 Panigale to an historical first win. The Italian rider, now with Team Pedercini Kawasaki, is still looking for an encouraging result after the tough start of the season. Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Ducati), on the contrary, appears to be in great shape and - after the outstanding race win at Assen – lies now 2nd in the standings, tied in points with team mate Niccolò Canepa.
Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) could also play a part in the battle for the top-3.
Standings: 1. Barrier (BMW) 45; 2. La Marra (Ducati) 36; 3. Canepa (Ducati) 36; 4. Mercado (Kawasaki) 29; 5. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 24; 6. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 20; 7. Jezek (Ducati) 18; 8. Bussolotti (BMW) 14; 9. Savadori (Kawasaki) 8; 10. Bergman (Kawasaki) 7; 11. Ferrer (BMW) 7; 12. Gildenhuys (BMW) 6; 13. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 6; 14. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 5; 15. McFadden (Honda) 5; etc.
Current leader Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Racing Yamaha) is the man on the move after winning the first two races of the season. Last year at Monza the young Belgian was 2nd at the chequered flag behind Riccardo Russo – who’s now racing in Supersport – and ahead of Swiss Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team Honda).
Duwelz will have to face the internal rivalry by team mates Adrian Nestorovic – who was in contention for the win up to last turn at Assen – and Robin Mulhauser, with Tony Covena (Nito Racing Kawasaki) ready to challenge for a podium finish.
Christian Gamarino (Team GoEleven Kawasaki), Franco Morbidelli (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki), Stefano Casalotti (VFR Racing Yamaha) e Nicola Morrentino (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) are expected to play a part at the front in their home round.
Standings: 1. Duwelz (Yamaha) 50; 2. Chesaux (Honda) 32; 3. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 31; 4. Coveña (Kawasaki) 30; 5. Mulhauser (Yamaha) 20; 6. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 20; 7. Tessels (Suzuki) 19; 8. Morbidelli (Kawasaki) 19; 9. Casalotti (Yamaha) 14; 10. Morrentino (Yamaha) 8; 11. Schmitter (Yamaha) 7; 12. Marchal (Yamaha) 5; 13. Nekvasil (MV Agusta9 5; 14. Nocco (Kawsaki) 4; 15. Tuuli (Yamaha) 4; etc.
European Junior Cup
The Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda already showed some unpredictable and close racing, with two riders able to secure a win so far in the first two rounds and Italian Michael Canducci (Colors Experience) – current Championship leader - who proved to be the most consistent by finishing both races in 3rd place.
Before an almost 7-week break until the 4th round at Imola (June 30th), the youngsters participating in the one-make entry level series will face the challenge of Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale. Another spectacular race is expected, given the balance in performance of the identical CBR500R available to the riders and the importance of slipstreaming on the northern Italy circuit.
Standings: 1. Canducci 32; 2. Bendsneijder 25; 3. Lewis 25; 4. Raymond 23; 5. Sebestyen 21; 6. Fernandez 20; 7. Arenas 20; 8. Manfredi 18; 9. Fernandez 17; 10. Anne 13; 11. Mykhalchyk 11; 12. Levy 10; 13. Pittet 9; 14. Rusmiputro 9; 15. Orellana 9; etc.
HISTORIC MONZA HOSTS NEW LOOK PATA HONDA SBK LINE UP
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) will welcome a new team-mate to the official Honda garage at Monza for the fourth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship, to be held on Sunday May 12. Double All Japan Superbike champion Kosuke Akiyoshi will replace the injured Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) at this meeting which will be a home event for the title sponsor of the team, Pata. In teaming up with Rea this weekend Akiyoshi will in some ways be revisiting a co-operation with the rider from Northern Ireland that helped Honda win the Suzuka 8-Hour race in 2012.
Rea and Akiyoshi should both feel the advantage of Jonathan's recent test on his CBR1000RR at Assen, shortly after the last round of the championship, in which new parts and electronic strategies were improved. Enhanced aerodynamics should also be a major help to the team at the 5.777 Km long Monza circuit. Its three long straights ensure that the magic 200mph top speed barrier is regularly breached by modern-day SBK machines.
Chassis improvements delivering greater stability were another positive result of the post-race Assen test and these should also have a benefit for the Honda duo in the long curves and tighter chicanes which characterise the oldest surviving purpose-built motor racing circuit in Europe.
Rea, with 30 podiums to his credit in SBK racing so far, including 10 wins, has yet to post a top three at Monza, but after taking his first podium of 2013 last time out in the Netherlands he is looking to maintain his upward trend in race day results.
After his good showings in round three at Assen Rea moved up to fifth in the overall rankings. Haslam dropped to 13th after being ruled out of each race in Holland and now he is working hard on his recuperation programme to try and be ready to compete at his home round, Donington, on May 26.
VAN DER MARK AND ZANETTI LEAD THE HONDA WSS RIDERS TO ITALY
Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) head to Lorenzo's home venue of Monza for the fourth round of the FIM Supersport World Championship in a few days time determined to mount strong challenges at the peerlessly historic circuit near Milan.
Reigning Superstock 600 European Champion van Der Mark has made a great early impression in his rookie WSS year riding a potent CBR600RR and he sits only five points from the championship leader Fabien Foret after three of the 14 scheduled rounds.
Michael is the highest ranked Honda runner at present while his team-mate Zanetti is next best CBR600RR rider, seventh. All of the current top three Honda riders are rookies, with Irishman Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) in eighth position overall. The former British Supersport Championship challenger has been scoring better early race results than he could have realistically hoped for but he also believes there is still untapped potential in man and machine after only three rounds.
Former 125 GP rider Luca Marconi (PTR Honda) missed the Assen race itself because of a practice crash and thus slipped to 16th overall but at his home circuit he feels he can have his best result so far, which would mean beating his tenth place finish at Aragon.
Alex Baldolini (Team Lorini Honda) is now 18th after not finishing the race in Assen last time out. Former 125cc GP Champion Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) was 16th in Assen and has yet to score any points in 2013. A serious practice crash in Australia that broke his jaw, and then crashing after a coming together with another rider at Motorland in his comeback race, have not helped his overall cause.
Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) is recovering from a shoulder injury harsh enough to have made him skip the Assen race, but the South African rider is determined to ride and compete well at Monza, a circuit he greatly enjoys. He too has found little in the way of good luck so far, as he goes for his first 2013 championship points at Monza.
Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini Honda), Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda), David Linortner (Team Honda PTR) and Eduard Blokhin (Rivamoto Honda) are all still waiting to get their points scores off the mark. Matt Davies (Team Honda PTR) and Nacho Calero Perez (Honda PTR) are two young riders making their debuts in WSS this year, in one of the most respected team set-ups in the paddock.
Monza is a regular stop on the WSS trail and it is arguably the most iconic piece of racing tarmac in Europe, given its original birth in the 1920s as a banked oval. Much modified over the years and featuring some chicanes built on a grand scale, Monza is still the place to see the fastest top speeds of the year in all classes.
The next race after Monza takes place at Donington Park in the UK, on 26 May.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
"The test at Assen was really positive because we were able to have some updates on the electronics which made the bike feel a lot more predictable again, especially in the areas of throttle opening and traction control. We can set it up to be more precise now, which is good. Also on the chassis side we worked hard and found a new way forward. Last year's base setting at Monza was the same as we had at Assen, so hopefully we can take that straight into the race weekend in Italy. I am not expecting it to be plain sailing at Monza because it is a kind of real life dyno. We need to use the more positive parts of our bike to try and maximize our performance because I cannot see this being an easy race for us - although I have usually qualified well at Monza. I went close to a podium finish in 2009 when I think I was fourth. It would be amazing to stand on the podium at that circuit, with all its history. The podium is situated right out over the pitlane, facing the crowd, and there is a great atmosphere around Monza because Superbike racing is massive at this track. I am very aware of the history of the venue, especially with parts of the old Parabolica still being there. Every year I take the scooter out to have some fun there. It's a circuit steeped in history."
Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
"After Assen we had two days of testing and found a good direction to work in. We were really fast and this is very positive. I know that Monza is a special track and for our main sponsor Pata it will be a home race. The bikes are fast already so I think we can make a good result in Monza. This year we were hoping to start in the top ten and work towards the top five as the season went on, but we have been in the top five every race so far. I hope we can stay there and keep those good results going."
Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
"My home round and I am very happy about that because I like the track and I will race close to my home. I will have many friends there to see me and that is better for me. After the Assen race weekend we tested there for two days and that was very important because we tested many new parts. We also improved my set-up on the bike and that will be important for all the races. It is important to have good speed at Monza and my Honda has that. I think it is possible to finish in a strong position; same at the other races. It is also a home round for the main sponsor so many people will arrive to see us and the pressure is high, but that is normal."
Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda)
"Everything is on a positive note at the minute and moving forward all the time. Monza is another new track for me and I have been playing it on the X-box because right now that is all I can do. In theory it seems fairly easy, with three sixth gear straights and only a few corners, but I think that is what is going to make it so difficult to make up time; because there are so few corners. I am looking forward to another good qualifying performance to get away with them and then use the slipstream to pull me along. We are fairly close with the bike in terms of set-up but we are still just looking for that extra bit so the pace can last that bit longer in the race. That said, it is all looking positive at the moment. The team are happy and they are doing a great job too."
Luca Marconi (PTR Honda)
"Monza is in Italy, a home track, so I want to make a good result. A lot will depend on the weather conditions. I just want to make my best result so far and stay inside the top ten. Riding for the PTR Honda team is very good and I feel happy working with them. The boys are very professional and I am happy about my bike. I just wish we had more testing, because it is difficult to try and get more feeling with the bike with no testing time available. In any case, we still need to make improvements in each race."
Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda)
"Monza is an unknown track for me because I have never ridden there. We will just analyze what happened there last year with the team. We are not satisfied right now because I need to stay nearer the front. I believe that we can still do it and we will re-focus for Monza. The season is long but I feel comfortable and ready to improve. After a very tough start to the year the one positive from Assen was finishing a race, so our target is to finish higher from now on. What I heard about Monza is that the engine is very important there, but I think if we can get a good chassis set-up I can work at a high level."
Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda)
"I am pumped for Monza, just like all the previous races, but Monza is a special place for me. I rate it as one of my favourite tracks. This week has been one of the few times I have stayed in Europe between races in 2013, instead of going back to South Africa each time. I took advantage of the time and spent the week running and hiking in the mountains near Lake Como. In this short gap between races I have been resting my shoulder as much as possible so that I am as close to 100% as I can be for Monza. At the moment it's looking good."