Motorcycle racing fans should prepare themselves for plenty of high-speed
action on the weekend of 7-8 May, as the Autodromo Nationale di Monza hosts
the fourth round of this year's Superbike World Championship.
The historic circuit is a fans' favourite due to the really high speeds achieved
by the riders (over 320 km/h), the opportunities for overtaking thanks to slip-streaming,
as well as many chances to pass on the brakes throughout the race. The circuit
requires more than just a fast motorcycle though – anything less than 100 per
cent commitment from the rider and they can easily lose sight of the leading
For BMW Motorrad Motorsport, Monza holds special memories, as it was the track
where the team celebrated its first ever WSBK podium, thanks to Troy Corser's
heroic efforts on the RR in May 2010.
"Last year we had a successful weekend at Monza, celebrating the first podium
for BMW Motorrad Motorsport," said the Australian who is riding for this third
consecutive year with the team. "From a rider's view, Monza is not very technical,
as it is more about the performance of the bike. You have very fast sectors
and hard braking, so we need to make sure that we don't suffer the same issues
with the tyres that we had in Assen during Saturday's Superpole and Sunday's
second race. We've been focussing our efforts on sorting out those issues,
but our performance on hard tyres shows that we are heading in the right direction
so I am confident that we can build on that in Monza."
Leon Haslam has had a strong start to his debut season on the RR, and is currently
fifth in the championship standings, only 21 points behind second placed rider
Max Biaggi. He finished on the podium at Monza last year, alongside Corser,
and is hoping to be back up there in front of the Italian fans at the ultra-fast
"I'm really looking forward to Monza. Troy got on the podium there last year
and it is a circuit which I like and one which I think will favour the RR.
Since the last round at Assen, I've been to the workshops in Germany and sat
down with the team to come up with a plan of action for this next race weekend.
We know where we are with the RR and what needs doing, so I am confident in
that we can make that next step forward at Monza. We are showing that we can
run in the top five on a regular basis, but we just need to take that a step
further and push for the podium and race wins. For sure the Yamahas and the
Aprilias will be fast at Monza but I am confident that what we have as a package
will allow us to compete."
Haslam's confidence is shared by BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Bernhard
Gobmeier, who believes that the circuit characteristics will suit the RR and
offer the team riders a real opportunity to go for glory in Italy.
"We are all really looking forward to Monza," he said. "The team is going
there with very good memories, as it is the place where last year they could
celebrate the first podium for BMW in the Superbike World Championship. I think
that the fast circuit should also suit our S1000RR this year, so we are hoping
to continue to build from what we learnt at Assen, where Troy and Leon showed
with their top lap times, what is possible. We are very confident that we can
achieve success in Monza, so we will be travelling to Italy in a really optimistic
This will also be a 'home' round for the BMW Motorrad Italia team, with Aytron
Badovini returning to the circuit where he was victorious on the RR in last
year's FIM Superstock Cup race and was joined on the podium by his team-mate
Daniele Beretta. Badovini will be aiming for WSBK championship points this
time around, while his team-mate James Toseland will be hoping that his recovery
from a wrist injury will allow him to compete at the highest level.
Whatever happens, expect two thrilling races at the 5.793 km circuit, with
the highest speeds, the hardest braking and arguably the most passionate fans