WSBK – First stage of the Giro Superbike … –

First stage of the Giro Superbike…

WSBK - First stage of the Giro Superbike ... -

This weekend at Monza will take place the first of the three Italian stages included in the 2007 World Superbike: many tifosis will be encouraging Biaggi, but also the Ducati of Bayliss and Xaus, not to mention the Italian R1 of Corser and Haga…

After the incredible weekend in Assen (read), the Mondial Superbike arrives in Lombardy to compete in the fifth round of the 2007 calendar.

And while the Dutch track gave pride of place to long curves, forcing riders to apply long braking on the angle and to manage the power of their bikes in endless series of turns, the Monza track offers a completely challenge. different.

"It is more of a "motor" track than a "pilot" track", does not hesitate to assert Noriyuki Haga, as it is true that the successions of stretches and baffles negotiating at low speed put motorcycles to the test more than their riders.

Built in 1922 by the Automobile Club of Milan – 3,500 workers for only 110 working days! -, the Monza circuit very quickly underwent modifications in order to jointly increase the safety of the pilots and that of the spectators: in 1928, the accident which cost the lives of Emilio Materassi and 27 spectators pushes the persons in charge to install chicanes at the entrance of big curves, in order to cut the cars in their tracks.

While retaining its singularly simple "pistol" shape, it was in 2000 that the layout changed for the last time: the first two baffles were accentuated, increasing the lap times by a handful of seconds..

On the World Superbike program without interruption since 1995, Monza remains one of the fastest circuits in the discipline. Since Hockenheim is no longer on the calendar, Monza is even the fastest track! Thus last year, Troy Corser covered his superpole lap in 1 ‘46,058, an average of just under 197 km / h !

Excellent in the perilous exercise of the launched lap, Corser could well sign this weekend the 40th pole position of his career. Riding the new Yamaha R1, the Australian will be keen to feature at least "on the first line", in order to give yourself the maximum chance to shine on Sunday afternoon…

"The race is most important", insists Troy indeed who finished the last season second then third at the controls of his former Suzuki on the Italian track. Still chasing after his first victory of the season, the Croco arrives somewhat sore from his highside at Assen, but guarantees that we can count on him: "I have seen much worse !", assures n ° 11…

As for Corser, this event will be a sort of "home race" for Noriyuki Haga since the two riders are racing within the official Yamaha Motor Italia team, whose HQ is based just a few meters from the curve. Lesmos

Despite this proximity, Haga insists that Monza is not his "favorite track", reproaching him for a too long straight line and a lack of turns … This did not however prevent the guy from offering Yam and his new R1 a podium in the first round last year !

"I need to win at Monza in order to stay in the title fight and make up for the disappointment of my last round"Says Nitro Nori truly ready to explode! Third in the championship 52 points behind leader James Toseland, the Japanese know that his retirement – due to engine failure – in the second round of Assen must not be repeated…

James Toseland will approach this new event very calmly. After stages spent on his land at Donington Park then at his Boss Ten Kate in the Netherlands, the Honda rider will have more peace of mind to use his fruitful method at the start of the season: winning a race and fighting valiantly for a podium. !

"We continued our good streak at Assen – although I narrowly missed the double, thanks to Troy (Bayliss, NDLR) ! -, and I hope we can continue like this at Monza and get two podiums", modestly predicts the British.

It must be said that James has never succeeded in winning in Lombardy, even riding an arch-domineering Ducati a few years ago. The "fault" in particular with our national Regis Laconi, author of a memorable double in 2004 !

Mastering his Ducati 999, Regis had crossed the finish line twice in the lead, each time setting the fastest time in the race! So let’s hope that these happy memories will allow the n ° 55 from Meuse to multiply the potential of his Ninja, whose settings seem difficult to find….

However, we have to admit that in 2004 and 2005 – Vermeulen and then Corser were then imposed – a brand driver was absent. And not just any brand since it was Ducati … and its favorite driver Troy Bayliss !

"It’s a very special place for me", explains the double world champion."When I was appointed in 2000 to take Carl Fogarty’s place at Monza, it was my second chance", recalls the driver n ° 21 who had made a catastrophic freelance for the official team a few weeks before.

"I had the right to a first test gallop at Sugo in Japan, where I had fallen without completing a single lap in each race.", remembers Troy who finally had to make up for it by achieving two promising fourth places on the Lombard track.

"Since that day I have never lost in Monza", realizes the Australian pilot who will logically be the favorite on a track where the superior power of the Japanese 4-cylinders must be measured against the excellent traction of the Italian twin-cylinders…

But the fight promises to be tight, since Bayliss would not hesitate to cut his second little finger if it secured him the double this weekend! On Ducati also, Lorenzo Lanzi will perhaps be transcended by his audience but the private driver Ruben Xaus promises to be even more formidable…

"We are very competitive and on a track like Monza, we will be less victims of 4-cylinder acceleration.", foresees the Catalan pilot member of the Italian team Sterilgarda."I am confident: we can fight for the podium for both races", even provides n ° 111.

Other drivers will be eagerly awaited this weekend, such as Michel Fabrizio on his Honda DFX Corse or Roberto Rolfo on his Honda Ten Kate. But the most anticipated of all will undoubtedly be the Roman Emperor himself, who has not fought on his land since 2005. !

"Driving at Monza will be a new experience for me in two ways", notes Max Biaggi:"firstly I have never ridden a Superbike here and secondly it will be my first Superbike race in Italy". So many new features that will attract the Suzuki rider"special attention from the Italian media, in particular", predicts Massimiliano…

Lucky for him, to concentrate on his job "is not hard"and Max shouldn’t have to worry too much about relearning the track."I know the track is known to be slippery and this is something I have to keep in mind during races", explains Max who is struggling to deliver good first heats lately … and lets slip precious points in the championship !

As in Superbike, the Mondial Supersport riders should offer a captivating spectacle on a track where the 600cc (and 750 Italian) are ruthlessly exploited !

In the French camp, we naturally count on Sebastien Charpentier to hoist the national colors high. "I think in Assen I was at 80% of my capacity", regrets the Charente pilot who drags his injuries to the pelvis from Donington…

"For Monza, I am much closer to 100% and since it is a less physical track, I have high hopes for the race.", positive the double French world champion. Climbed on the podium last year despite a passage in the pit lane for a flying start, there is no reason that General Seb" On Mission "does not finish this next race in the top 3 !

Victory, on the other hand, will be more difficult to obtain for Sebastien, whose n ° 1 enemy is none other than his own teammate: Kenan Sofuoglu! Undisputed leader of the championship – for the moment! -, the Turkish driver won four out of five races and finished second at Phillip Island…

Author of a superb race at Assen during which he knew "judge the situation correctly and do not force without having to", Sofuoglu is also aiming for the podium, considering the victory as"a bonus".

The only driver to have beaten the No. 54 of the Honda Ten Kate team this season, Fabien Foret will count on the increasing performance of his Ninja to reduce the gap between him and the leader in the provisional standings. Yet second, the Kawasaki pilot is already 53 points behind Sofuoglu !

The 2006 vice-champion Kevin Curtain will unfortunately not be there to compete in the fifth round of the championship: the Australian driver, shot with antibiotics after the infection of his deep cut in the thigh, will be replaced by Anthony West – his compatriot registered in GP 250 – which aims "the top 5 this weekend".

Broc Parkes, Curtain’s Yamaha R6 teammate, will try to get back into the title race, but he knows he will have to get "some victories"… Success that has eluded him since Brandshatch last year !

On Yamaha R6s too, but private these, Christophe Guyot’s GMT94 crew will try to improve the fine result obtained by David Checa at Assen: 7th in the race. "The team, which was finally able to find the time, after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to recondition its engines and equip them both with the racing gearbox, but also to completely overhaul its chassis, is therefore ready to go. on the very demanding Monza circuit. Very demanding, this circuit is indeed for the engines, which need a lot of power to swallow the long straight … We know that this is not our strong point at the moment: to find the power is to weaken an engine, and so far we have relied on reliability", explains the French team on its official website … To be followed closely, therefore !

But the Italian public will only have eyes for the Gianluca Nannelli / Ducati 749R couple, remarkable animator of the end of the race in Valencia this year and many races last year. The transalpine pilot, armed with his twin cylinder and his outrageous sense of attack, should boost the atmosphere !

See you on Monday on the Site for the full report of these three enticing races and the video interviews with the drivers. !

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *