This weekend’s motorcycle race at the Monza circuit is a very important one, not only because it’s the first Italian round of the 2010 World Superbike championship but also because it represents one of the key points of the season.
The two Ducati Althea Racing riders come to the track holding fourth and twelfth position in the overall points classification. Carlos Checa
is, currently, the higher placed rider, thanks to a great victory at Phillip Island and a podium finish at Valencia. The Spaniard hasn’t been on the podium at Monza in the last two years but this year he is very determined and capable of turning that trend around. Shane Byrne
has accumulated points in all of the races so far (except Race 1 at Valencia) and seems to have found a good pace, as demonstrated by his recent race results. In 2009 the Monza track wasn’t particularly kind to the Englishman either; he took home just two points. Genesio Bevilacqua (Team Owner) says: "We’ve reached a critical point in the season and our team, also in light of our latest results, is ready to be a main player at Monza too. Even though the Lombardy track doesn’t seem to favor the Ducatis, it’s worth noting that the Bolognese bike has still won 18 of the 36 races held there and this gives us confidence. Carlos is in great shape and seems determined to put on a great show in front of the Italian crowd. Shane on the other hand will have the chance to prove that he’s back to being the "Shakey" that we know and love." The Superbike schedule at Monza starts on Friday with the first free practice at 12.45, followed by the first qualifying session at 15.45. On Saturday, after the second qualifying session at 10.45 and the second free practice at 13.50, the Superpole gets underway at 15.00. On Sunday morning warm-up begins at 9.20, while Race 1 kicks off at 12.00 and Race 2 at 15.30 – both races are 18 laps in length, equal to 103.986 km. The lap record for Superbikes at Monza is no longer valid as the first chicane has been modified, changing the parameters. The "old" record, that referred to the previous layout, was set by Fabrizio (Ducati) in 2009, in 1m45.336 at an average of 197,980 km/h, while Ben Spies (Yamaha) set a 1’44"073 (at an average of 200,390 km/h) in practice in 2009. World SBK CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1. HASLAM P. 148 – 2. BIAGGI p. 128 – 3. REA p. 110 – 4. CHECA p. 103… 12. BYRNE p. 48 Full Monza Preview & Photos Here