Superbike Monza Round 5: Race Report

WSBK Report

An outstanding motorcycle racing weekend of action at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, played out in front of 115,000 people, culminated in a remarkable double World Supebike win for Max Biaggi and his Aprilia Alitalia team, and pulled Max up to within three points of championship leader Leon Haslam (Alstare Suzuki).

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 of the year, the first coming in Portimao.

World SBK Race One: Biaggi scored the race one win with a well-judged front running ride, albeit with several riders for company through all 18 laps. He kept his pace and consistency on his vee four machine to lead Yamaha Sterilgarda duo James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow across the line, finishing 0.247 seconds ahead of Toseland.

Leon Haslam was only 0.958 seconds behind Biaggi, in fourth, with Leon Camier, Biaggi’s team-mate, fifth. Ruben Xaus (BMW) was sixth, Michel Fabrizio seventh for Ducati Xerox.

Troy Corser went eighth and Tom Sykes ninth on his Kawasaki Racing Team machine.

Max Biaggi: "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: "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: "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."

Race 1 Results: 1. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 (C/A); 2. Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 0.247 (B/A); 3. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 0.297 (B/A); 4. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 0.958 (C/A); 5. Camier L. (FRA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 4.493 (C/A); 6. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 7.343 (B/A); 7. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1198 7.369 (B/A); 8. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S 1000 RR 9.344 (B/A); 9. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 15.338 (C/A); 10. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 16.761 (B/A); 11. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1198 16.921 (A/A); 12. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR 1000 RR 22.231 (C/A); 13. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1198 22.602 (B/A); 14. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1198 22.742 (A/A); 15. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1198 26.266 (B/A); 16. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 26.415 (B/A); 17. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 26.968 (C/A); 18. Vermeulen C. (AUS) 36.964 (B/A); 19. Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 61.646 (B/A);

World SBK Race Two: Biaggi took his second win of the day in fine style after closest challenger Crutchlow suffered an oil leak and crashed. Max’s eventually clear win, by 4.5 seconds from Leon Haslam, was an important one and sends the WSB paddock to Kyalami confident of more close action between this year’s two most consistently fast riders.

Haslam now has 181 points to Biaggi’s 178 as he struggled with a sore wrist from a couple of hairy moments in the second race. Third place for Troy Corser was a historic first podium for BMW in WSB racing, in only the second season of full-on competition for the S 1000RR in the production-based series. Corser is now seventh in the championship.

Leon Camier was a lonely fourth for Aprilia in race two and an aggressive fifth from Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes rounded out a day of new high points for many riders and teams.

James Toseland was taken to hospital to have a CT scan after suffering concussion in a high-speed crash, with Jonathan Rea spraining his ankle and Ruben Xaus escaping the turn one collision without injury. In contrast to Biaggi’s great day some leading lights suffered in the final analysis, with Carlos Checa 14th and 11th in the races, as he ties for fourth place on 110 points with Rea, who did not score today. Toseland is fifth on 106, Haga sixth on 100.

Max Biaggi: "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: "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: "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 2 Results: 1. Biaggi M.(ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000; 2. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX R 4.547; 3. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S 1000 RR 5.469; 4. Camier L. (FRA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 10.267; 5. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10 R 15.561; 6. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1198 15.816; 7. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 15.861; 8. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1198 20.977; 9. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1198 21.920; 10. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 21.974; 11. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1198 27.152; 12. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR 1000 RR 29.315; 13. Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 30.858; 14. Hayden N. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10 R 47.160; 15. Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR 1000 RR 48.824

Pirelli Race Tyre Selection (Front/Rear): All riders on same solutions with the exception of Checa, who changed to B front tyre for Race 2.

Giorgio Barbier (Racing Director, Pirelli Moto) says: "Monza is a historic race, the one closest to home for Pirelli as well as a circuit which tests our tyres to the very limit due to its high-speed Parabolica, long straights and extreme braking. In order to account for warm and cooler temperatures, here at Monza race we have delivered 4630 tyres which included 5 front solutions and 3 rear solutions for SBK, as well as 3 front and 2 rear solutions for SSP."

"All SBK riders successfully raced the newly developed three-zone 190/65 rear tyre whose central compound is both more durable and higher-performing, much appreciated by the riders especially in braking sections. The most common front tyre choice was the B (SC2) solution, although depending teams’ bike setup, the A solution whose higher grip level or the more durable C solution – used by Biaggi and Haslam – also worked well at Monza."

World Superbike Performance Awards

SBK Race 1 – Pirelli BEST LAP
Jonathan Rea (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda), 1’43.031 (Lap 6)

SBK Race 2 – Pirelli BEST LAP
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Superbike), 1’42.937 (Lap 3)

Total BEST LAP (SBK): Checa C. (Althea Racing): 3, Biaggi M. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 2, Jonathan Rea (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda): 2, Haslam L. (Suzuki Alstare): 1, Guintoli S. (Suzuki Alstare): 1, Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Superbike): 1

WSS – Pirelli BEST LAP
Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), 1’47.767 (Lap 7)

Total BEST LAP (WSS): Laverty E. (Parkalgar Honda): 2, Pirro M. (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda): 1, Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Motocard.com): 1, Kenan Sofuoglu (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda): 1

Stk1000 – Pirelli BEST JUMP FORWARD
Michaël Savary (Garnier Junior Racing), From 16th to 6th (10 positions)

WSBK Points (after 5 rounds of 13): 1. Haslam 181; 2. Biaggi 178; 3. Rea 110; 4. Checa 110; 5. Toseland 106; 6. Haga 100; 7. Corser 92; 8. Camier 72; 9. Guintoli 70; 10. Crutchlow 65. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 184; 2. Suzuki 181; 3. Ducati 149; 4. Honda 119; 5. Yamaha 113; 6. BMW 95; 7. Kawasaki 37

World Supersport

The Supersport race, held over 16 laps, was won by a flag-to-flag show of speed and consistency from Parkalgar Honda rider Eugene Laverty. He won by 2.8 seconds from Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Kenan Sofuoglu. Third, and only just behind Sofuoglu after he made a mistake on the penultimate lap, was Joan Lascorz (Motocard.com Kawasaki). Sofuoglu’s team-mate Michele Pirro was the first Italian rider home, in fourth place, holding off Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki Motocard.com) and French rider Matthieu Lagrive, who was the first Triumph rider in the classification. In the championship, things are now very tight, with Lascorz still leading, on 101 points, while Sofuoglu has 97 and Laverty 91.

Results: 1. Laverty E. (GBR) Honda CBR 600 RR 28’51.936 (192,129 km/h); 2. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR 600 RR 2.817; 3. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 3.043; 4. Pirro M. (ITA) Honda CBR 600 RR 21.238; 5. Fujiwara K. (JAP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 22.003; 6. Lagrive M. (FRA) Triumph 675 Daytona 22.056; 7. Davies C. (GBR) Triumph 675 Daytona 30.724; 8. Salom D. (ESP) Triumph 675 Daytona 30.730; etc.

Points (after 5 rounds of 13): 1. Lascorz 101; 2. Sofuoglu 97; 3. Laverty 91; 4. Davies 55; 5. Salom 40; 6. Rea 40; 7. Harms 35; 8. Pirro 34; 9. Fujiwara 34; 10. Lagrive 30. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 120; 2. Kawasaki 101; 3. Triumph 65

Superstock 1000

Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) secured the race win from pole but only after a fight with early fast man, Sylvain Barrier. The Frenchman was to crash his Garnier racing BMW and lose any chance of points, leaving Badovini ahead of eventual second place rider Michele Magnoni (SCI Honda Garvie Image) second and Daniele Berretta, Badovini’s team-mate, third. In the championship, Badovini has 100 points, Magnoni 47 and Maxime Berger 46.

Results: 1. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 21’44.147 (192,848 kmh); 2. Magnoni M. (ITA) Honda CBR 1000 RR 6.101; 3. Beretta D. (ITA) BMW S 1000 RR 6.371; 4. Lussiana M. (FRA) BMW S 1000 RR 6.522; 5. Petrucci D. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 18.222; 6. Savary M. (SVI) BMW S 1000 RR 19.518; 7. Baroni L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 21.971; 8. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Honda CBR 1000 RR 22.147; etc.

Points (after 4 rounds of 10): 1. Badovini 100; 2. Magnoni 47; 3. Berger 46; 4.Giugliano 45; 5. Barrier 40; 6. Petrucci 30; 7. Antonelli 28; 8. Baz 27; 9. Bussolotti 26; 10. Tutusaus 25. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 100; 2. Honda 73; 3. Suzuki 52; 4. Kawasaki 30; 5. Yamaha 29; 6. KTM 25; 7. Ducati 22; 8. Aprilia 13

Alfa Romeo launch new Giuletta Safety Car

On the occasion of the fifth round of the Superbike World Championship, championship partner Alfa Romeo presented their brand-new race Safety Car: a Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde equipped with a powerful 235 HP 1750 TBi engine, a model that will certainly attract the attention of the general public and which will have widespread visibility for race-going spectators as well as through the distribution network and their clients.