Superbike Report Two strong World SBK podium finishes by James Toseland at round 4 followed by a successful two day test in Misano last week have given the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team extra motivation for the team’s home race.
Riders Toseland and Crutchlow head to Monza for round five of the World Championship this weekend, the first of three Italian races this year, intent on capitalising on the steps taken recently in development. These include steps forward in electronics and chassis set-up, making the bike even more competitive and making the British pairing serious contenders for victory at the legendary high speed circuit. The circuit itself was first constructed in 1922 and has undergone various changes from then to its current set up. Its 5.7km layout is characterised by long high speed straights and chicanes, with three main corners, the Curvone di Biassono, Curva di Lesmo and the Curva Parabolica. For 2010 the first chicane at the end of the start / finish straight has been modified. The current and previous lap records were both taken on Yamaha R1s, the current last year by Ben Spies, the previous in 2007 by Noriyuki Haga. James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team) says: "The test last week was encouraging, I think I ended up second and third. I am particularly looking forward to Monza; I’ve always loved riding there, as we didn’t in Moto GP I’m happy to be going back. It’s got an ambience in the park, to hear the engines resonating through the trees is really special and you can feel the history. The high speed circuit is also pretty special; to hold it flat out in top gear for 7 or 8 seconds is something you don’t do anywhere else. I’m really pleased with the way things are progressing with package and the team and as it’s the home race for them it also adds something extra to the weekend." Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team) says: "I’m looking forward to putting the Assen weekend behind me and getting back to the front at Monza. We’ve been working hard as a team to keep improving the bike and it was really useful to spend the two days at Misano working on a set up for me. I’m confident both James and I can be at the front this weekend and fighting for podiums on Sunday. I love the high speed Monza circuit and enjoyed racing there on the Supersport bike last year, I can’t wait to tackle it with the R1." Frankie Carchedi (James Toseland’s Crew Chief) says: "At Assen we were able to make more steps forward with the electronics and chassis, and more importantly close the gap on the championship lead. Since then we have had a successful test at Misano where we were able to evaluate different links and further improvements to the power delivery. Monza is the fastest track on the calendar and requires good top end speed, strong brakes and good at changing direction as it has three chicanes, also tyre life for the famous Parabolica corner which dictates the speed on to the main straight. We are hopeful that with the further improvements we have made, and the strong Yamaha engine, James can again fight for the win and close the gap for the championship." Marcus Eschenbacher (Cal Crutchlow’s Crew Chief) says: "The Misano test was really interesting for us using different approaches to chassis set up. We’ve improved our mid corner grip and stability and also our straight line traction and drive coming out of the corners. Monza has the highest average speed of any circuit we visit this year, with chicanes in between the high speed sections so we will be setting up for high speed stability as well as working on a bike that can change direction quickly and drive out of the chicanes." Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team Manager) says: "For me Monza is something special, it was the same when I was racing here. In the past we have traditionally had good results in all race categories at the track, and after the last two races and the test in Misano we are arriving with good expectations. Unfortunately the weather forecast is bad for this weekend so that is a question mark but hopefully it is wrong!" Unique FIMER LogoYamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike team sponsor FIMER will tomorrow (5th May) launch a new division dedicated to renewable energy at the SOLAREXPO in Verona. To mark this occasion the bikes of both James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow will have green FIMER logos on the fairings instead of their usual red colour for the Monza race weekend.