Quote Factory: Monza World Superbike

WSBK Monza Quotes

It was remarkable World Superbike double win for Max Biaggi and his Aprilia RSV4 Factory Alitalia team, and pulled Max up to within three points of World SBK Championship leader Leon Haslam (Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000).

Biaggi made some radical changes to his rear suspension after his race one win and eventually ran out the clear winner of race two. This was Max’s second double motorcycle racing events of the year, the first coming in Portimao.

After a fourth place in the first race, Haslam fought tooth-and-nail to take a podium in the second race at the Monza World Superbike Championship fifth round in Italy to keep his series lead intact.

Haslam was charging after Cal Crutchlow in second place, but then inherited runner-up spot when Crutchlow slid off at the first chicane. Troy Corser (BMW) was in Haslam’s wheeltracks for the last few laps, but the GSX-R1000-mounted Briton held him off to take his seventh podium of the season.

Troy Corser says: "I am so happy. We have put so much hard work into the project up to now having had some difficult and frustrating times. It feels so good to see that all the hard work pays off. The bike is becoming better and better. Between the races we made some set-up changes and the bike stopped much easier, and we had the speed to compete with the top guys. Thanks to all the boys at BMW. It has been a long time coming, and it won’t be the last time."

Ruben Xaus says: "I felt so good in race one, everything was working so well and I achieved my best ever position on the BMW. I knew I had a good chance to go even better in race two but I was hit from behind on the first lap and I crashed. I am so disappointed with the way I went out of the race because I never even got a chance to get going – there was nothing I could do. However I would like to congratulate Troy and the team for their first podium and I hope we continue this form in South Africa."

Leon Haslam says: "Today was a hard day and I’m happy to leave Monza still leading the title race. Max was strong here and I knew it was going to be tough pair of races. The podium in race two was very hard work, but I didn’t want to miss out on a podium today and kept battling away.

"I had a really big ‘moment’ in race two and was way out of the saddle twice in the space of a fraction of a second. Somehow I stayed on the bike, but it was a very close thing! After Cal crashed, Troy kept me on my toes, but Max was too far in front for me to catch so I just made sure of runner-up spot. I did something to my wrist when I had my ‘moment’ and it felt pretty sore, but I managed to carry one to the end.

"In race one, I lost contact with the leaders and then had a bit of a grip problem for the last four or five laps and couldn’t get out of the corners as fast as I wanted. We made some little suspension changes- just a few clicks here and there – for race two and the bike was definitely better to ride."

Sylvain Guintoli says: "Generally the weekend has ended not so badly. I enjoyed the second race because I was involved in a really good fight with Nori Haga and Tom Sykes. I managed to pass Nori right towards the end, but then I made a very small mistake in the last turn and he got me back.

"Seventh is not so bad after how the weekend began, but I have learnt that I – or me and my team – have to manage practice and qualifying better and get into a good, consistent rhythm as soon as we can. Not doing that means a low grid position and this Championship has so many good riders and bikes that you cannot afford to be way down the grid if you want to be a contender. I think I probably could’ve got fifth today if it hadn’t been for a crash right in front of me on the opening lap. I had to take avoiding action and go straight on at the first chicane and lost time in the process. But I fought hard and caught up the guys ahead, before my good battle with Tom and Nori. I am happy with my performance in race two and now I want to build on that and be much better at the start of a race weekend."

Max Neukirchner says: "The chatter was really bad in race one but the changes we made improved the bike a lot for race two. Unfortunately, as we went into the Ascari chicane on the first lap, Chris Vermeulen was on the inside and made a mistake, which forced me right across the gravel. When I got back on the track I was in last place, b ut the changes to the bike allowed me to brake deeper into the corners, with better grip levels and I could get on the throttle faster on the exit. It was an improvement and we’ve learned some more this weekend but the results were still not good. We need to work on braking even deeper and getting the bike upright earlier, and we’ll try to do that next weekend in South Africa."

Jonathan Rea says: "Well it’s been a bad weekend for our assault on the championship. I made a small mistake at the end of the back straight in the first race when I was trying to avoid Leon [Haslam] and Cal [Crutchlow]. Then race two ended before it had begun when I got skittled off going in the first corner. But I’m not down in the dumps about it. It’s times like these that you can really tell the strength of a team and I know that this team is really very strong. They gave me a good bike this weekend but we co uldn’t really make the most of it. I’m actually really excited at the challenge ahead, because we were able to make up quite a lot of points in the middle and end of last season. We’ll all pull together now and I fully intend to get back to winning ways at Kyalami next weekend."

Shane Byrne says: "We knew it would be difficult but in the end, thanks to my team’s hard work in the garage, we took a good result and I had fun, especially in Race 2", said "Shakey". "On Friday we were a long way off but today we were not so far behind the competition. I’m sorry for Genesio and for the team because I know they would have liked to do better at their "home" track but I did my best and gave 110%. I know we can do better at Kyalami."

Carlos Checa says: "It was a difficult weekend and probably, if we consider the gap between us and the four cylinders, it’s true to say that I wasn’t very motivated here. The fact that we haven’t managed to find the right balance with the bike has definitely impacted on the results. Fortunately we now go to Kyalami, a track that suits our bike. The engine power doesn’t count as much and we’ll strive to get back on form."

James Toseland says: " The first race was a good strong race, I just want to congratulate the team, it’s their home race and to get two of us on the podium is great. Max Biaggi rode a great race, he had a strong bike here and we expected him to go well, he didn’t put a foot wrong. I was hoping on the last lap he was going to make a slight mistake, just enough for me to get alongside but he didn’t so fair play to him. We’re getting better with each race, moving in the right direction and it’s getting frustrating finishing in second and third now!"

Cal Crutchlow says: "I felt like I put together a really solid first race, we didn’t get the best of starts but made up for it and got stuck in. All credit to Yamaha, they’ve done a good job to give James and I a competitive package so it was great for us both to deliver them the podiums here for their home round. It was a strong result and we rode well so I was looking forward to the second race. I started really well and didn’t take long to get tucked in behind Max, I knew exactly what I was doing and had my strategy sorted to pass him on the last lap. Incredibly some stones flew up off his back wheel, I was so close behind I felt some hit my helmet and unfortunately a big one made a hole in my oil cooler. I made it through another lap, but coming into the first chicane it must have reached my back tyre and I went straight down."

Michel Fabrizio says: "Race 1 was going quite well; it’s only a shame that we don’t have the top speed to be able to stick with the guys on the straight, with more engine power I could have done a lot better. In Race 2 I ran off when those guys crashed at the first chicane of the first lap and I tried to keep riding but I couldn’t get the bike into gear, and then I slipped. It was tough out there today but at least we take home some valuable points and hope that things go better at Kyalami."

Noriyuki Haga says: "In both races I was having a lot of difficulty turning the bike and didn’t have enough grip at the rear. In Race 1 I was having to put it right down on its side to get it to turn as I wanted and this of course meant that I couldn’t keep pace with those ahead of me. We changed a few things before Race 2 and improved the situation a little. Grip was good in the first five laps or so but from mid-race it was really hard, as the bike was drifting wide and was hard to control. In the end I’m quite satisfied with sixth position, as it was tough here this weekend."

Jakub Smrz says: "It was a difficult weekend for us but the team did a great job once again. After yesterday’s crash in Superpole, I didn’t practice much in warm up and lost a bit of confidence. I didn’t get a good start in race 1 and I was way behind. In race 2, I started determined to do well and gained a few positions. Unfortunately, Toseland and Xaus crashed right in front of me and I had to brake to avoid them. As a consequence, I lost all the positions I had gained but I fought back and tried as hard as I could to close the gap between myself and the riders in front of me. However, I regret not having had a better starting position. I’m sure I could’ve battled with Sykes and Haga for a slot in top 5".

World Superbike Race 1 Podiums

Max Biaggi says: "That was a special result, because it is special to win at Monza and because this is a special track with a very high top speed. We worked very hard for this race weekend so it was a perfect performance by all the team. The Yamaha guys running together means they could be quicker than me in the final lap but we held it together and took our first win here at Monza."

James Toseland says: "Another second place, it’s a bit frustrating, but it was a good strong race. I want to congratulate the team for getting two bikes on the podium. Congratulations to Max, he didn’t put a foot wrong. On that last lap I was hoping he was going to make a slight mistake to allow me to get alongside but he didn’t. They were strong round here, but we’re getting better all the time, but as I said second and third all the time is a bit frustrating."

Cal Crutchlow
says: "I felt like I put together a solid race, but we never got the best of starts again, the bike is hard to get off the line, but all credit to Yamaha, we came to their home round and second and third for me and James is a strong result. We knew we would struggle a bit for speed, but to be honest I struggled throughout with gear shifting, I had a leaky engine oil cover. I was struggling to change gear up the box, but I feel I rode well."

World Superbike Race 2 Podiums

Max Biaggi says: "This track is very long and it’s very easy to make a little mistake plus when you have your rhythm you stay with it, and it’s difficult to go faster and easier to go slower. Anyway I’m happy with the result, it was a close race. I’m happy for me and my team. It’s an unbelievable result, it looks like we are achieving our goal. Here there is also the President of our group and it’s been a great weekend for everyone."

Leon Haslam
says: "We had a few big moments in that race and I’m nursing my wrist because one of them sent me off the back of the bike when I was with Max and Cal at the time. This weekend’s been tough, we’ve been a little bit down on speed, which is unlike the Suzuki, but the boys have worked fantastic. To get on the podium here in Monza is always special so I’m really happy for that. The battle for the title is definitely closing in, we knew Max was going to be strong here, but hopefully we can get back to our winning ways because each race is getting tougher and tougher."

Troy Corser
says: "I’m so happy, the team has put a lot of hard work into the project not just this year but last year and sometimes it’s been difficult and frustrating. But this weekend we’ve worked really hard and have been progressively getting better and better, just struggling a bit with braking, but we made a change for the second race and it made the bike easier to stop. We had the speed, our bike was as fast as anything out there, and it just took me a few laps to get used to the brakes in the second race. Thanks to all the boys at BMW, it’s been a long time coming, let’s hope it’s not going to be the last one!"

Race 1 – 18 Laps
1. Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 31’07.044
2. James Toseland Yamaha GBR 0’00.247
3. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 0’00.297
4. Leon Haslam Suzuki GBR 0’00.958
5. Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 0’04.493
6. Ruben Xaus BMW ESP 0’07.343
7. Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 0’07.369
8. Troy Corser BMW AUS 0’09.344
9. Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 0’15.338
10. Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki FRA 0’16.761
11. Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 0’16.921
12. Max Neukirchner Honda GER 0’22.231
13. Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 0’22.602
14. Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 0’22.742
15. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0’26.266

Race 2 – 18 Laps
1. Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 31’07.122
2. Leon Haslam Suzuki GBR 0’04.547
3. Troy Corser BMW AUS 0’05.469
4. Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 0’10.267
5. Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 0’15.561
6. Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 0’15.816
7. Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki FRA 0’15.861
8. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0’20.977
9. Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 0’21.920
10. Luca Scassa Ducati ITA 0’21.974
11. Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 0’27.152
12. Max Neukirchner Honda GER 0’29.315
13. Chris Vermeulen Kawasaki AUS 0’30.858
14. Roger Lee Hayden Kawasaki USA 0’47.160
15. Broc Parkes Kawasaki AUS 0’48.824

Best Lap
Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1’43.031

1. Leon Haslam Suzuki GBR 181
2. Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 178
3. Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 110
4. Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 110
5. James Toseland Yamaha GBR 106
6. Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 100
7. Troy Corser BMW AUS 92
8. Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 72
9. Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki FRA 70
10. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 65
11. Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 62
12. Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 58
13. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 47
14. Ruben Xaus BMW ESP 35
15. Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 35

1. Aprilia 184
2. Suzuki 181
3. Ducati 149
4. Honda 119
5. Yamaha 113
6. BMW 95
7. Kawasaki 37