The oldest permanent motorcycle race circuit in Europe, Monza, has undergone some serious changes in its design since it was a banked oval in the 1920s. For this year’s World Superbike race there is another small but significant alteration to the track to improve safety.
The circuit is now 16 meters shorter than the previous version, even if at 5.777 km it is still one of the longest road racing tracks in international racing. The change in length has come from an easing of the first chicane, the Prima Variante, to prevent it being a bottleneck, particularly on the first lap or two of the Superbike race.
The entire first chicane section is now faster, more flowing and has already been voted a success by the Italian championship riders who rode on it last weekend. Lap times are expected to be considerably faster than before for the WSBK riders, in similar fashion to Assen, which had a similar change carried out to it before round four last month.
Monza has been used for 36 individual World SBK races (over 18 season) starting off in 1990 with a 5.8km circuit. In 1996 the length went to 5.770km, then in 2001 the track became 5.793km long, and continued to be so through to 2009.