—  World Superbike 2013 – Round Four – Monza
—  Melandri wins Monza

Marco Melandri was the winner of a thrilling and ultra-close first race, following a spectacular and highly entertained battle throughout the 18 laps.

The 11th race win for the home rider – his maiden on the Italian track – was a perfect display of racecraft, as Melandri entered the final lap in 3rd position and immediately overtook Tom Sykes at Turn 1, then made a successful move on Eugene Laverty for the lead. The works Aprilia Rider regained first position at the “Ascari” chicane, but the eventual winner was not happy with second place and got along the inside of the Irishman at the last turn, while Sykes tried to take advantage to snatch the victory from both rivals.Group_action

The three riders crossed the line side by side, with Melandri winning by 0.085 seconds over Tom Sykes and by 0.107 seconds on Eugene Laverty. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) was part of the contention for the win but lost ground in the closing stages to finish 4th.

Marco Melandri: “It was an unbelievable day for me. To finish first and second here in Monza is just awesome and it feels great after we had a difficult start to the season. Race one was unbelievable. I knew that my race pace was quite good, even if we struggled a bit in qualifying. Until the chequered flag, I was talking to my RR, telling her ‘go, go, go’ – that was incredible. In Race 2 hen Sylvain made a little mistake, I passed him and then tried to catch Eugene, but he was a bit too far away. Anyway, I was also very happy with second place. Now I am confident because I feel that the feeling with the bike is coming back.”

5th place for Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) – who made his way up to sixth position following a difficult start – and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team).

Race 1 saw a new average speed record for the Superbike World Championship (201,814 km/h): the previous one was set in 2000 at Hockenheim (Race 1 – 201,330 km/h).

– SUPERBIKE RACE1: (Laps 18 = 103,986 Km)
1 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 30’54.925
2 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 0.085
3 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 0.107
4 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 1.844
5 / C. DAVIES / GBR / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 7.629
6 / M. FABRIZIO / ITA / Red Devils Roma / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 8.407
7 / L. BAZ / FRA / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 15.555Melandri_podium
8 / J. REA / GBR / Pata Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 16.465
9 / L. CAMIER / GBR / Fixi Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 16.668
10 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Althea Racing / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 26.82
11 / A. BADOVINI / ITA / Team Ducati Alstare / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 38.908
12 / M. NEUKIRCHNER / GER / MR-Racing / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 38.951
13 / F. LAI / ITA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 52.788
14 / K. AKIYOSHI / JPN / Pata Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 55.889
15 / F. SANDI / ITA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 56.006
Fastest Lap: 5° Tom Sykes 1’42.229 203,437 Km/h
Lap Record: 2010 C. Crutchlow 1’42.937 202,040 Km/h
Best Lap: 2013 T. Sykes 1’41.223 205,460 Km/h

Eugene Laverty has taken revenge over Marco Melandri after first race defeat for the win to achieve a crucial victory in Race 2. The Irishman grabbed the lead on the penultimate lap and defended the position from a competitive Melandri, who set the fastest lap of the race right before the chequered flag in 1’42.379.

With his 3rd race win of 2013, Laverty equals the same number of victories achieved in the past two seasons to close the gap on the Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) to 13 points, with Tom Sykes third with an 18 points gap from the top.

Eugene Laverty: “This was a great day for me. After the podium in Race 1 it was nice to end the weekend with a victory. Especially since I was a bit disappointed because I had a shot at the top step of the podium in the first race as well if I had managed the end differently. The points situation is excellent if you consider the double DNF in Aragon, but I’ve already left those difficulties behind and I count on doing well at the next round at Donington as well.”

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider completed the podium ahead of Guintoli, as both riders were part of a 4-way battle that characterised most of the 18-lap race.

Their race result is still provisional, as after the chequered flag the Aprilia Racing Team requested the Race Direction to analyse last Tom Sykes’ lap, who ran off track, while entering Turn 5 – using the run off area – and rejoined by maintaining his 3rd position and same pace. The appeal by Aprilia was upheld and after Sykes was penalised with one position place penalty, the Kawasaki Racing Team appealed to the FIM Stewards’ Panel. Following an analysis of race footage and sector times by Sykes, preceding rider Melandri and following rider Guintoli, decided to reinstate Tom Sykes third in classification. Therefore, this could not be the final verdict, as a further appeal could be lodged by the works Aprilia Team, this time to the International Disciplinary Court (within 5 days), that will eventually take the final decision on it.

5th place for Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), after a close battle with Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia). Both riders had to face a strong Chaz Davies, up until the Welshman lost the front at Turn 5 during lap 12, and a fierce Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), 7th at the flag.

– SUPERBIKE RACE2: (Laps 18 = 103,986 Km)
1 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 30’59.653
2 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 0.143
3 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 0.725
4 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 1.619
5 / M. FABRIZIO / ITA / Red Devils Roma / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 9.965
6 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Althea Racing / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 10.066
7 / L. CAMIER / GBR / Fixi Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 12.241
8 / L. BAZ / FRA / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 29.771
9 / A. BADOVINI / ITA / Team Ducati Alstare / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 35.005Race2_finish
10 / M. NEUKIRCHNER / GER / MR-Racing / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 41.757
11 / F. LAI / ITA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 52.579
12 / V. IANNUZZO / ITA / Grillini Dentalmatic SBK / BMW S1000 RR / 1’28.772
13 / F. SANDI / ITA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1 Lap
Fastest Lap: 18° Marco Melandri 1’42.379 203,139 Km/h
Lap Record: 2013 T. Sykes 1’42.229 203,440 Km/h
Best Lap: 2013 T. Sykes 1’41.223 205,460 Km/h


Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) did an almost impossible overtaking manoeuvre on the last lap of World Supersport race to get his 2nd win of the season and become the new Championship leader. The 23 year old from Lincoln had a fantastic drive out of Turn 4 to pass all three riders ahead of him at the following chicane.

Lowes got quickly a small margin on the chasing pack to cross the line in 1st place ahead of Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki), Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport) and Riccardo Russo (Puccetti Racing Kawasaki). The top-5 in today’s race, completed by Kev Coghlan (DMC-Racing Kawasaki) put up an outstanding battle throughout all 10 laps.

Reigning Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) lost the front at Turn 8 during the 4th lap of the race, while he was on the lead. Team mate Fabien Foret didn’t take part to the race after being involved in the multiple crash at Turn 1 that brought to a third red flag – and eventually led to the decision of postponing the Supersport race after World Superbike race 2. Similar misfortune for rookie Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport).

– SUPERSPORT RACE : (Laps 10 = 57,770 Km)
1 / S. LOWES / GBR / Yakhnich Motorsport / Yamaha YZF R6 / 18’09.799
2 / F. MARINO / FRA / Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 0.798
3 / L. ZANETTI / ITA / Pata Honda World Supersport / Honda CBR600RR / 0.989
4 / R. RUSSO / ITA / Puccetti Racing Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 1.342
5 / K. COGHLAN / GBR / Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 1.487
6 / S. MORAIS / RSA / PTR Honda / Honda CBR600RR / 8.261
7 / V. LEONOV / RUS / Yakhnich Motorsport / Yamaha YZF R6 / 11.044
8 / L. SCASSA / ITA / Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 11.169
9 / V. IVANOV / RUS / Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 11.199
10 / L. MARCONI / ITA / PTR Honda / Honda CBR600RR / 11.253
11 / R. ROLFO / ITA / ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse / MV Agusta F3 675 / 14.119
12 / M. SCHOLTZ / RSA / Suriano Racing Team / Suzuki GSX-R600 / 14.522
13 / C. IDDON / GBR / ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse / MV Agusta F3 675 / 14.964Supersport_podium
14 / D. LINORTNER / AUT / Team Honda PTR / Honda CBR600RR / 15.079
15 / R. DE ROSA / ITA / Team Lorini / Honda CBR600RR / 15.123
Fastest Lap: 3° Lorenzo Zanetti 1’48.225 192,166 Km/h
Lap Record: 2010 E. Laverty 1’47.767 192,980 Km/h
Best Lap: 2010 E. Laverty 1’47.601 193,280 Km/h



– Superstock 1000

Lorenzo Savadori won today’s FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race, that was reduced to 7 laps following the crash by Greg Gildenhuys (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and the collision between team mate Sylvain Barrier and Argentinean Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini) on the opening lap after the first start. Savadori showed again the affinity with his home track, getting a small margin in the last two laps over the fierce followers to secure a crucial victory after his difficult start of the season.

The race saw at times a 7-way battle up front, but the challenge for the two remaining podium places was a matter between Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Racing Kawasaki) and Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Team Ducati) on the last lap. The 2007 Champion had a successful overtaking at the last turn, but the Frenchman managed to regain the position before the finish line.

4th place for Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Ducati) – who got the holeshot at the restart and was leader at some point during the race – followed by wild-card Michele Magnoni (G.M. Racing BMW) and Matthieu Lussiana (Team Aspi Kawasaki).

Race results: 1. Savadori (Kawasaki) 7 Laps/40.439 km in 12’33.222 average 193.277 kph; 2. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 0.402; 3. Canepa (Ducati) 0.414; 4. La Marra (Ducati) 0.758; 5. Magnoni (BMW) 1.220; 6. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 1.769; 7. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 2.106; 8. Bergman (Kawasaki) 7.600; 9. Mercado (Kawasaki) 7.837; 10. Jezek (Ducati) 7.947; 11. Bussolotti (BMW) 7.964; 12. Gyorfi (BMW) 15.182; 13. Pagaud (Kawasaki) 15.765; 14. Dittadi (Kawasaki) 15.851; 15. Ponsson (Kawasaki) 15.867; etc.

Standings (round 3 of 10): 1. Canepa 52; 2. La Marra 49; 3. Barrier 45; 4. Guarnoni 44; 5. Mercado 36; 6. Savadori 33; 7. Lanusse 29; 8. Jezek 24; 9. Bussolotti 19; 10. Lussiana 15; 11. Bergman 15; 12. Magnoni 11; 13. Ferrer 7; 14. Gildenhuys 6; 15. Andreozzi 6. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 61; 2. BMW 56; 3. Kawasaki 54; 4. Honda 6; 5. Suzuki 5.

– European Junior Cup

The PATA European Junior Cup powered by Honda was a fiercely contested affair with ten riders in with a shout of the victory on the final lap at Monza race, that was won by French Robin Anne (Anne Formation) ahead of Adrien Pittet (Swisscare) and Zac Levy (Puma R.V.s) . From the start, the action was unpredictable as several riders fell at Turn 1. Pole sitter Guillaume Raymond (Activebike) was a little too keen to get going, as was Ilya Mikhalchyk (Wind Racing Team) and Richard Bodis (Sparta Motorsport) who all received a jump start penalty.

Augusto Fernandez (DS Junior Team) crashed out of the lead on lap 4 leaving a gaggle of hungry riders to battle it out to the flag. Kevin Manfredi (Newton Trasformatori) and series leader prior to Monza Michael Canducci (Colors Experience) gave the home fans something to cheer about as they each took a turn at the front. As the riders started the final lap it was Aussie Zac Levy and Lorenzo Garafoli (Lorenzo Racing) had moved into what looked like the best position, but just like the opening two races, the drag to the flag decided the outcome.

Race results: 1. Anne 7 Laps/40.439 km in 16’15.366 average 149.257 kph; 2. Pittet 0.011; 3. Lewis 0.348; 4. Levy (Honda) 0.406; 5. Canducci 0.485; 6. Flitcroft 0.504; 7. Garofoli 0.634; 8. Harland 0.664; 9. Zanella 6.873; 10. Rusmiputro 8.956; 11. Ebehard 18.285; 12. Sebestyen 19.391; 13. Paiuta 23.831; 14. Mykhalchyk 29.219; 15. Wisdom 34.674; etc.

Standings (round 3 of 8): 1. Canducci 43; 2. Lewis 41; 3. Anne 38; 4. Pittet 29; 5. Bendsneijder 25; 6. Sebestyen 25; 7. Levy 23; 8. Raymond 23; 9. Fernandez 20; 10. Arenas 20; 11. Manfredi 18; 12. Fernandez 17; 13. Rusmiputro 15; 14. Mykhalchyk 13; 15. Flitcroft 12.

– Aprilia Report

Aprilia Racing was the star player at Monza in the fourth World SBK round and finished the Italian weekend with its two standard bearers, Guintoli and Laverty, respectively in first and second place for the championship standings.
Aprilia strengthens its hold on the Manufacturer World Championship lead (172 points) in front of BMW (144), Kawasaki (127), Honda (78), Suzuki (68) and Ducati (52).

In both races the four riders – Laverty, Guintoli, Melandri and Sykes – left the others behind, leap frogging in and out of the lead several times, battling down to the last turn for victory.
In the first race, after a spectacular flying finish and after having led the race for a large portion of the time, the two Aprilia riders finished in third (Laverty) and fourth place (Guintoli) behind Melandri and Sykes.

The second, extremely fast race, which ended with an average speed of more than 201 kph, followed the same script with the quartet running away at the front. The Aprilia riders stayed in the lead: first Laverty for seven laps and then Guintoli in the next eight and then Laverty again, taking the lead in the last two laps to then defend down to the wire and win in front of Melandri, Guintoli and Sykes. Sylvain’s podium was made official after Aprilia Racing lodged a complaint due to Sykes running straight on in a chicane during the last lap. This is a result that is enriched by the presence of all four RSV4s in the top six places (Fabrizio fifth, Giugliano sixth).

With this victory, the third of the season after the one in Phillip Island and the last round at Assen, Laverty is now lying in second place in the championship which is led by his team mate, Sylvain Guintoli. The French Aprilia Racing rider was a protagonist today, leading in both races. The third and fourth place finishes are not a complete satisfaction for him, but they are important results for championship points.

Eugene Laverty: “This was a great day for me. After the podium in Race 1 it was nice to end the weekend with a victory. Especially since I was a bit disappointed because I had a shot at the top step of the podium in the first race as well if I had managed the end differently. We showed that we can be fast and consistent on two very different tracks like Assen and Monza. My RSV4 did extremely well for me. On this track the speed and balance of the bike in braking are essential. The points situation is excellent if you consider the double dnf in Aragon, but I’ve already left those difficulties behind and I count on doing well at the next round in Donington as well. Even though it will be an ‘almost’ home round, it has never been a particularly favourable track for me, but I think this year I’ve got everything in order to bridge this gap as well”.

Sylvain Guintoli: “What an exciting weekend! In Race 1 I felt like I was really fast until the halfway point and then my feeling dropped, so the fourth place finish was the most I could get. In the second race I had a better pace. The others were struggling a lot more to overtake me but in the last two laps I wasn’t able to keep Eugene and Melandri’s pace. The decision that was taken after Sykes’ manoeuvre seemed obvious to me immediately. I’m happy with third place even though I missed out on the podium celebration because the Team deserved it after working so hard. For the championship these are really important points”.

– BMW Report

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is back on winning ways. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) rode his BMW S 1000 RR to victory in race one today and in race two, Marco was once again one of the front runners and finished second, claiming the fastest race lap. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) finished fifth in the first race, but crashed out of race two, once again, lying in fifth. The “Autodromo Nazionale di Monza” hosted the fourth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. In the Riders’ Classification, Marco climbed to fourth with 96 points. Chaz is fifth with 94 points. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW lies in second with 144 points.

Race one, which was recorded as the fastest average speed World Superbike race ever, was a breathtaking thriller from the start flag until the finish line. Marco, who started from fifth, pushed forward from the word go and took second position on lap two. Until the chequered flag, he fought an exciting battle with Eugene Laverty (IRL), Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) and Tom Sykes (GBR). Positions between the four changed all the time. On lap 11, Marco took the lead but slipped back to third on lap 15. The battle continued and reached its climax on the final lap. Marco took the lead but lost it a few corners later, however he did not give up the fight. With a brilliant manoeuvre he regained first place with only a few hundred metres to go and defended his lead until the chequered flag. In a photo finish, he had an advantage of just 0.085 seconds to Sykes in second place and 0.107 seconds to Laverty in third. Chaz, who started from ninth, also gained several positions in the early stages of the race. He was involved in a battle with Jonathan Rea (GBR) and Davide Giugliano (ITA) and soon took fifth place, a position he successfully kept until the finish of the race.

Race two saw the same four protagonists, but this time the quartet did not change positions as much, they instead seemed to wait for the closing stages to start their final battle for victory. Marco was in third place for the majority of the race, and on the penultimate lap he started his charge forward and overtook Guintoli for second place. Laverty however defended his lead up until the finish line, winning the race with an advantage of 0.143 seconds ahead of Marco. Chaz had a more difficult race than race one. In the early stages, he again improved to fifth, but then went wide in the chicane and dropped back to eighth. The Welshman fought his way back to fifth, but a crash on lap 12 ended his hopes of another top result.

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team had a more than unlucky day. The race of the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup ended prematurely for both riders after Sylvain Barrier (FRA) and Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) were involve in a heavy crash in the first corner which involved a number of motorcycles. Both had to be taken to the Medical Centre to be assessed. Sylvain luckily escaped unhurt, Greg was suspected to have fractured his right leg, but further examinations showed that he fortunately just twisted his ankle.

Marco Melandri:
Result Race 1: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:42.343 min (lap 2)
Result Race 2: 2nd / Gap to 1st: 0:00.143 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:42.379 min (lap 18)
“It was an unbelievable day for me. To finish first and second here in Monza is just awesome and it feels great after we had a difficult start to the season. Race one was unbelievable. I knew that my race pace was quite good, even if we struggled a bit in qualifying. When we started, I knew that it would be very tough until the last corner. When Eugene passed me on the last lap, I thought it would be impossible to pass him back again, because he was very good in the turns and he was pulling away. But in the last corner I was quite close, I knew that I could go a little bit faster than the others and so I overtook him and, even though I was a little bit wide, I kept full throttle until the finish line. Until the chequered flag, I was talking to my RR, telling her ‘go, go, go’ – that was incredible.

“In the middle of race two I was a little bit faster than the two guys in front of me, but I could not try to pass. But when Sylvain made a little mistake, I overtook him and then tried to catch Eugene, but he was a bit too far away. Anyway, I was also very happy with second place. Now I am confident because I feel that the feeling with the bike is coming back. I can brake and go into corners aggressively, it is my riding style. I am sure that from now on we can fight with the top guys at every race. Thanks a lot to my team because they are working so hard and I am sure our championship will start now. And I also want to say ‘Grazie’ to the many fans who came here today. It was just awesome to see the grandstands.“

Chaz Davies:
Result Race 1: 5th / Gap to 1st: 0:07.629 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:42.922 min (lap 7)
Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:42.504 min (lap 4)
“Race one was a fun race but not ideal. It was fun to battle with Jonathan and Davide, but there is no need to fight around here because the front group goes away too quickly and you lose everything, especially in the slipstream which is very important. You have to take a few tenths every lap in the slipstream. I was quite happy with my pace in the middle of the race, I could see that I was closing a little bit on the front group but in the end it was not possible to catch them. I would have liked to see how the race would have ended if I would have been able to go with them. In race two I lost time fighting with Davide again. It was fun, but it cost me half a second a lap to the top group. I thought I could close the gap and was pushing to fight for the race win and not to finish fifth. In the end I was pushing too hard and lost the front. Obviously I am disappointed to crash, but I am happy because we improved the bike step by step and were going in the right direction.”

Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK):
“After a dramatic weekend in Assen we came to Monza with many new ideas for Marco, ideas that have worked well since Friday. Thanks to the work the race and R&D team have done after Assen, as Marco feels comfortable and is able to show his talent. In both races he was perfect in terms of performance and race management. We’re really happy he finally got back the right feeling with the bike, which allows him to go as fast as he did here in Monza. Now we have to keep up this level of performance for the future races. We have many ideas so we are really confident. I want to thank his crew for their work in Saturday’s Superpole, as they did a perfect job in a short amount of time and allowed him to compete the session, so well done. Unfortunately, because of the crash on Friday, Chaz started to work on the settings later. The set-up was defined today after race one. Chaz is aware of his capability and power, and it showed in race two when he tried to close the gap to the front riders to fight for the win but unfortunately he crashed. We have to appreciate the consciousness and commitment he showed. In race one he gained a fifth place which is important for gaining points towards the championship. The championship is still long, so we have to keep working.

The Superstock race unfortunately had a dramatic start with Sylvain and Greg crashing on the first lap. Sylvain was OK, Greg had a bad impact but luckily he suffered a minor injury. We leave with empty hands but this has had no dramatic impact on the overall standings. Let’s restart at the next race.“

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“In Monza we were finally rewarded for all the hard work we have done with Marco. We have lost races due to some unlucky situations and small technical issues. All the guys have been working very hard and it was obvious from the first practice session here in Monza that Marco was confident with his bike. It was great to see him smile again. Today’s two races confirmed what we had seen since Friday and we are all happy. We must congratulate him and his crew for their work. We have seen that our RR is quite competitive on this track, even if, as we expected, our competitors are very strong. For Chaz, it was not an easy weekend. He had a crash on Friday but then working with his crew he improved his feeling for the bike step by step. Even if his starting position was not the best, he was catching up, especially in race two. In the middle of the race he was really fast but unfortunately he hit the bumps with the front and lost the opportunity to fight with the top group. But he proved that he was going at a good speed. So again, a big thank you to all the guys.”

– HRC Report

Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) made a very promising start to his weekend at the Monza round of the FIM Superbike World Championship but his good luck was not to hold as he finished eighth in race one and could not complete race two.

After a recent test at Assen on his CBR1000RR he found real improvements in pace and set-up and he had qualified well, in fourth place. He had been placed as high as second in the first race before his fortunes changed.

With regular team rider Leon Haslam out though injury replacement rider Kosuke Akiyoshi (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) scored points in his first ever Superbike World Championship race, going 14th, after qualifying 17th on the grid. He was a faller in race two but had once more found improvements in his set-up even between the two 18-lap races.

In the first race, won by Marco Melandri (BMW), ahead of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia), Rea had an eventful time after he was involved in a fight for the off podium places with Chaz Davies (BMW) and Davide Giugliano (Aprilia). After Jonathan ran on under braking at the first chicane he had to suffer a ride-through penalty and finished race one in eighth place. In race two he pulled in to retire after experiencing issues with his clutch system, which the team are now investigating. Laverty took the race two win from Melandri with Sykes third.

The fifth round of the series will take place on May 26th at Donington Park, a home venue for the both Rea and his regular team-mate Haslam, who is fighting to be fit to ride.


After a series of incidents had brought out the red flag at the Monza FIM Supersport World Championship event no fewer than three times the much shortened race was finally run after the second Superbike race had been completed.

Top Honda rider in the ten-lap WSS contest proved to be Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) who was third. He had made a remarkable recovery to be on the final grid after being hit by another rider’s machine in the first chicane during one of the cancelled race starts. His team did sterling work to get him back on the grid and give him a bike good enough to record his first podium.

Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) was not so fortunate and suffered broken bones in his left foot after his crash on debris left by other crashing riders. He missed the final restart, having qualified fourth in practice. He is now third in the rankings.

Sam Lowes (Yamaha) won the race, from Florian Marino (Kawasaki) and he now leads the championship.

Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) was a strong sixth, his first points scoring finish of the year. He rode with an injured right shoulder from his Assen crash but was able to do the still-tough ten lap race without too much discomfort. He had qualified 12th on the grid.

Luca Marconi (PTR Honda) could have been better than his eventual tenth place finish but a small mistake at a key time allowed other riders to pass him. This was his equal best finish of the year and puts him 14th overall.

David Linortner (Team Honda PTR) was 14th and the last Honda rider to get a point was Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini Honda), in 15th place.

Matt Davies (Team Honda PTR) just missed his first point in 16th, while Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) made a tyre change after all the many starts and restarts and regretted it because it proved to be too hard for the conditions. He was 19th with Alex Baldolini (Team Lorini Honda) two places better in 17th.

Promising rookie Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) crashed out today but remains inside the top ten in the points standings.


Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 8th / DNF Championship position: 8th
“It’s been a tough day and I don’t feel like we got what we deserved. Over the weekend the bike had been working well, really well, but the only problem was that I did a lot of riding by myself. That was frustrating because maximizing the racing lines with our bike is different from when you ride in a group. We did not quite have the speed to compete in a group. I made a good start, but straight away I had some problem with the bike. I thought maybe I should adjust the clutch but, to be honest, the guys are still looking into it and investigating because I don’t think that’s the only problem. The feeling from the throttle and the traction control is good on the bike now after our Assen test and exiting corners I could ride on the back of anybody. In those fourth fifth and sixth gears I got dropped a little.”

Kosuke Akiyoshi (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 14th / DNF Championship position: 23rd
“World Superbike runs at a very high level and the team is also at a high level, but we lost one day to the rain on Friday. We improved step-by-step and today the machine was much better in terms of settings, chassis and throttle control. We just needed more time to make it even better. It was a positive weekend except for the crash when the back end just slipped out in race two.”

Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
Race result: 3rd Championship position: 5th
“It was great to take my first podium and get the fastest lap in front of my home crowd but it was down to my great team. They had to fix my crashed bike after one of the restarts and it was like new. I was very happy because at that time I was not sure if I could even start but my team worked in a great way in the garage and we took a podium finish.”

Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
Race result: DNF Championship position: 3rd
“It was chaos after all the red flags. In the last attempted start somebody was in a panic, did something stupid and crashed into Lorenzo. I thought I was lucky to miss the crash but when I entered the corner there was mud and grass on the track and I had a big highside. I felt the pain and realized that something was not good. They made an X-ray in the Clinica Mobile and I have four broken bones in my foot. I wanted to go back out and ride today but they say it will be ready for Donington. I hope we can take a good result there again.”

Sheridan Morais (PRT Honda)
Race result: 6th, Championship position: 18th
“I am happy to finish the race given everything we have had to deal with. To go from 14th to sixth is good. The doctors sorted me out this morning with some help for my shoulder but there were so many delays but in the end we did not do too badly. By Donington my shoulder injury should be a lot better and that is positive too. My confidence is high because at the end of the race I was doing good lap times and that is very promising.”

Luca Marconi (PTR Honda)
Race result: 10th, Championship position: N/A
“It was not so bad, but I lost a bit of focus just because of the four starts. I was good off the line but I made a mistake and ran wide in the third corner. Three riders passed me and I finished tenth but I am happy for the weekend because the team worked strongly and we can see what we can do to have a better position at Donington.”

Matt Davies (Honda PTR)
Race result: 16th, Championship position: N/A
“It was OK in the end. I got off to a pretty bad start but picked them off one by one I ended up 16th so close to the points, one place away. I have gone from being 20th to 24th to now being one second off tenth, so I am happy, finished the race and finished in front of where we started.”

Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda)
Race result: 19th, Championship position: N/A
“I am disappointed because we had a lot of starts and had a lot of possibilities but finally we decided not to run the soft tyre because it had been used too much already. We went for a new harder tyre. This was not a good decision because at one time I could not stop the bike because the rear was locking up. I could not turn into the first curve. I tried to recover and passed five or six riders but it was not enough to get any points.”

– Kawasaki Report

KRT rider Tom Sykes left the Monza race weekend with a second and a third place finish, new track and race lap records and third place in the championship after two blistering displays of fast riding.

Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) could not find his ideal set-up in the races and finished with two strong top ten finishes, so he is still sixth place in the overall standings.

Sykes was so close to the win in the first race that the gap at the flag was only 0.085 seconds and he was delighted to be able to race hard right to the end on his Ninja ZX-10R. A last lap manoeuvre on an inside line at the classic Parabolica final corner took him past Eugene Laverty but not quite to the win itself.

In race two he had to fight hard all the way and scored a third place, only 0.725 seconds from the win. Tom’s new lap record is 1’42.229 seconds, set on lap five in the first race. In the championship Tom is third, on 119 points, 18 points off the lead.

Baz was seventh in race one, improving on his qualifying position of 11th, as he gathered more important points. In race two he had to start from the very back after he stalled his machine on the line but battled through to finish eighth.

Fabrizio Lai (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) and Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) each scored points in race one, Lai for 13th and Sandi for 15th.

The Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race delivered a 1-2 for Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R riders, with Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) winning by 0.402 seconds from Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki). No fewer than six of the bikes in the top nine places were Kawasakis. Guarnoni is fourth overall in the championship, only eight points from the leader.

Tom Sykes: “Today I put it all out there for everybody to see. I could not give any more. Race one was a great race, a great battle although I was like a sitting duck at the back for a time. I was waiting to see where those guys were strong, and they have some speed, so I used that to my advantage and it led to a very exciting last lap. I tried to lead after lap 15 and pull a gap but it was not to be, because they reeled me straight back in. The last lap was great, it was almost a third to first run from the last corner, but I did not want to do anything stupid, so to have the Kawasaki working like that here makes me very motivated. Monza was going to be one of the most challenging circuits we would visit this season but we have come away with pole position, a new circuit record, a lap record and two podiums, so I am happy!”

Loris Baz: “We knew it was going to be a hard raceday for us but in race two we understood a lot and I think we know which direction we have to go at this track. I am confident for the next races and on from here with sixth place in the championship. The bike stalled on the grid when I put it through first gear so I think I did not give enough gas, so I had to start from pitlane, I think I could have been sixth maybe in that race and not eighth, as I was not pushing at the end. Some other riders did not score.”

Mahi Racing Team India duo Fabien Foret and Kenan Sofuoglu were not in luck today as neither scored points but Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) secured a confident second place.

The race was started and then stopped not once but three times before it was postponed to the end of the day’s regular action. The first halt came after a crash that involved both Sofuoglu and Marino who each fell on oil at the second chicane. The final running of the race was cut to ten laps from the planned 16.

Marino had qualified second and replicated that finish in the race after a great battle with three other riders.

Fabien Foret was injured in a crash in the third of the red flag incidents and could not make the final restart, having been taken to hospital in Monza for check-ups.

Riccardo Russo (Puccetti Kawasaki) was a battling fourth on his Ninja ZX-6R, with Kevin Coghlan (Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team) fifth, but still only 1.487 seconds from the win.

Luca Scassa (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) was a top eight finisher, while Vladimir Ivanov (Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team) was ninth.

After a highly disturbed day of competition at Monza Sam Lowes leads in the points, with Foret on an unchanged 54, and Kenan still fourth on 45 points. Scassa is sixth with 34 points.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “Three times they stopped the race and I think everybody lost a bit of concentration. Then they said it would just be a ten lap race and in a ten lap race I knew I had to try everything to go away from the riders behind. I saw that there was 0.6 seconds of a gap but I wanted to make more, because in Monza when you get a good gap then you can go away. Maybe I pushed too much. It is not nice because this is the fourth race and I made zero points twice, so it is not going the way we want it. There are still nice races to go, and I will try to close the gap.”

Florian Marino: “I think Sam Lowes was just a bit faster than me today but it was a great result for us and my first podium in this class. I had to take some time to get back into the rhythm after one of the crashes earlier in the day, but I just took some time to think. I have to say thanks to the guys in my team for the great job they have done.”

– Suzuki Report

FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier rode to a determined and extremely impressive seventh place in today’s second eni FIM Superbike World Championship race at Monza in Italy.

Starting from eighth on the grid, Camier held that position over the first three laps and kept in contention with the leading group. As the race wore on the Englishman pushed on through the field and was up to sixth by lap-six. He then got involved in a battle with Davide Giugliano and Michel Fabrizio over the rest of the race, before Camier crossed the finishing line seventh to confirm his comeback to fitness, equal his best result of the season so far; and move into the top-10 in the championship. Jules Cluzel had a second race to forget as he crashed on the second lap and ended his weekend early. He was mainly uninjured in the accident – he lost the nail on his little finger – but was very disappointed with the outcome of the race. The victory in the second event was taken by Eugene Laverty on an Aprilia.

Race one saw both Camier and Cluzel get solid starts and maintain positions in the top-10, before a mistake on lap five cost one of the FIXI Suzuki racers dearly. Cluzel missed his braking point going into the first chicane and went straight on and into the run off zone. He quickly re-joined the race – after losing five places – but was then further penalised with a ride-through penalty for not taking the correct line through the run-off area. Cluzel came into the pit-lane two laps later to take his penalty and re-joined the race in last place, fought to try and catch up to the closest riders but was unable to bridge the gap and had to settle for 17th position, his first non-scoring finish of the season so far.

Camier fared better than his team-mate in the first event, as he pushed hard on the demanding and fast 5,777m Italian circuit to bring his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R home in ninth place, despite struggling with braking issues for the majority of the race. The race was won by local hero Marco Melandri, after a dramatic final few laps involving the Italian, Tom Sykes and Laverty which saw the trio swap places regularly, before Melandri came out on top with Sykes and Laverty coming home in second and third respectively.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki now heads back to the UK for its first home race of the season, as the European round of the WSBK championship with be held at Donington Park in England on Sunday May 26th.

Leon Camier: “I had a pretty good start in the second race and got past Jules on the first lap. I then tried to get in a rhythm and not lose the tow. It took me a lap or two to get the feel and confidence in the brakes because we’d made a change to them for the second race. They felt ok, not as good in performance, but more consistent, so at least I could race with them. The set-up of the bike also worked better and let me do a bit more in the race, but I think the results today are what we can expect at this track. Yoshimura and the Crescent team have done a great job and the engine performance is in a different world to last year, but I don’t think we could have done much more here.”

Jules Cluzel: “I made a mistake in the first race and had to do a ride-through. I think this was a bit harsh because I had already lost 10-seconds and so for me there was no chance of any points. In the second race we worked a lot on the bike and made some changes to help with the traction, but I lost the rear for the first time in four races and crashed. I think I made a mistake, but the bike set-up was completely new and with a different feeling because we changed quite a lot. Maybe I need to adapt more before going for fast laps, so we will need to learn from this. I got zero points this weekend, but I am already looking to get to the next race, because this one was not the best for me.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager: “First and foremost the whole team is very relieved that Jules is largely uninjured after what looked like a very nasty accident in the second race. Race-day just didn’t pan out in the way we were hoping for with Jules. He had a great pace in race one before running on at the chicane, and then the ride-through destroyed any opportunity to see what he could have done. After settling in calmly on lap one of the second race, the crash put an end to his day. I have to be honest and say we are struggling between us – the team and Jules – to fully understand the best way to get him comfortable on the GSX-R for all conditions and circuits. There is still some significant work to do to find the right base, but that said, he’s an inspiring racer and we’re sure he’ll bounce back strongly at Donington.

“For Monza I think Leon had a pretty good day! We struggled with a braking problem in the first race, but in race two the bike was a lot closer to the others. In the end we only got beaten by a factory Kawasaki, a factory BMW and the Aprilias, which on a track like this is no shame. The engine performance is night-and-day better than 2012, thanks for which I have to give to our guys at Crescent and our partners at Yoshimura Japan, who are working so hard for us. Apart from the last four or five laps – where we ran out of grip – Leon’s pace was on a par with the front group. We are coming in to some tracks that will suit the bike, such as Donington and Portimao. Leon’s really done well there before and we’re positive of further progress towards the podium.”

– Matt Davies Report

After claiming his best ever WSS qualifying position yesterday PTR Honda’s Matt Davies was fired up for a point scoring ride in the 4th round of the World Supersport championship at Monza today.

The race was stopped after 2 laps as several riders fell victim to oil on the track which came as a godsend to Davies who had stopped on the previous lap with a technical problem.

The experienced PTR team changed the clutch on Matt’s bike within 8 minutes ensuring the hard charging Aussie could make the restart.

The restart lasted a lap, by which time Matt had shot from dead last on the revised grid to an impressive 22nd when the red flag came out again due to Alessia Polita crashing her VFT Yamaha, thankfully without injury.

It was a case of 4th time lucky for the riders in the World Supersport race as after a third stoppage (in which Matt was up to 6th), a shortened race, run over 10 laps was won by Britain’s Sam Lowes.

Matt rescued what could have been a disaster with a fighting ride to claim 16th at the flag and is now very much looking forward for the next round at Donington Park, in two weeks time where he is confident of claiming his first World Championship point.

– Pirelli Report

The new 17 inch Diablo Superbike tyres continue to bring satisfaction for Pirelli, allowing the eni FIM World Superbike Championship riders to improve on lap times, break records and provide a show for motorcycle racing fans with exciting races, battled out down to the finish line. Key players in the Superbike class for the weekend were Italian rider Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK), first place in Race 1 and second in Race 2, Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) respectively third and first, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) who rode respectively to the second step of the podium in Race 1 and took third in Race 2.

Thanks also to the progress Pirelli has made with the new 17 inch tyres, the Italian BMW rider and the English Kawasaki rider also achieved significant personal victories: Tom Sykes stopped the clock at 1’41.685 during Superpole on Saturday, breaking the circuit fastest lap record set by Max Biaggi in 2011, Marco Melandri, lapping in Race 1 at an average speed of 201,814 kph, is now the holder of the record for the highest ever average race speed in the history of the World Superbike Championship.

The rear SC0 solution, the softest in the Pirelli range which was available for racing for the first time this year, was used by all the Superbike and Supersport riders. In particular, if the power in Supersport is lower and therefore a softer blend can withstand the Brianza track, in Superbike this is the first time ever that an SC0 tyre has been used to race on this track. This is because the structure of the new 17 inch Diablo Superbike tyres allowed the Pirelli engineers to use softer compounds and therefore to provide the riders with the possibility of using the soft solution which is also the one capable of providing more grip, even on circuits like Monza which had been strictly off limits for this blend until now.

The new Diablo Superbike SC0 (S515) was not only the choice for all the Superbike riders, but it also contributed to reducing average lap times by 1 second in both race 1 and race 2. The quality of this solution allowed Marco Melandri to put the best race lap time on the board in the very last lap, more proof of this tyre’s excellent performance in terms of mileage.

In Supersport, in a race that had four starts, Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport) beat out Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpress) and Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport).

In the Superstock 1000 class Lorenzo Savadori and Team Pedercini put in a stellar performance. In the 600 class Nicola Morrentino took first place on his Yamaha YZF R6 for Team Trasimeno.

The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders: A key player in the fourth round of the eni FIM World Superbike championship was on the rear, both for the Superbike and the Supersport class, the SC0 solution, making its seasonal début this year. In Superbike the SC0 (S515) 17 inch Diablo Superbike tyre was quite popular with the riders thanks to its grip and the performance it provided on the Brianza circuit and for these reasons it was chosen by all 18 riders in both Race 1 and Race 2. Despite being a development SC0, the S515 differs from the standard version which Pirelli will bring to the next rounds only in the reinforced central compound, a measure that Pirelli successfully adopted that was necessary on a fast track like Monza in order to prevent possible blistering.

On the front 15 out of the 18 riders opted for the Standard SC2 solution (R982) in both rounds, a solution that Pirelli had already brought to the first three rounds, excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees solidity at the tread strip. Tom Sykes, Davide Giugliano and Ayrton Badovini preferred the standard SC1 solution (R426) over the SC2, in a softer compound.
In Supersport as well the SC0 S510 development solution of the Diablo Supercorsa was the most popular among the riders for the rear, used in all four races.

Pirelli Best Lap Award: In this round that Pirelli has always considered a “home” round, the usual “Pirelli Best Lap Awards” were also assigned. These are awards that the tyre manufacturer assigns to the riders who have made the fastest lap in Superbike race 1 and race 2, as well as the Supersport race. The winning riders in Superbike accepted the reward from the Pirelli Moto Business Unit Director, Uberto Thun, and from Racing Director Giorgio Barbier in the Paddock Show during the press conference at the end of race 1 and race 2 for the Superbike class. This year the award, which is always quite sought after by the riders, depicts a motorcycle instrument panel which indicates the time set by the rider. The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Award” titles at the end of the season will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and awarded in the usual end of year ceremony.

Here are the Pirelli Best Lap Award winning riders at Monza from the fourth round of the season:

WSB Race 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1’42.229 (5th lap)
WSB Race 2 – Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK), 1’42.379 (18 th lap)
WSS – Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport): 1’48.225 (3rd lap)

The overall standings after the first three rounds are as follows:
WSB: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 3; Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team): 2; Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma): 1; Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK): 1; Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK): 1.
WSS: Kenan Sofuoglu (MAHI Racing Team India): 1; Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport): 1; Fabien Foret (MAHI Racing Team India): 1; Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport): 1

Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director: “This was truly a great weekend because all the Championship class races were extremely heated, but also because, for the class that we are most concerned with, the solutions designed with the new 17 inch tyres worked very well, especially the rear SC0. If, in past years, racing in Superbike with a soft compound like the SC0 on a track like Monza which is particularly aggressive and demanding on the tyres was unthinkable, this year the development of the new Diablo Superbike tyres allowed us to use softer blends from the start and the SC0 at Monza was even the solution used by all the riders. As if this wasn’t enough, with this solution Marco Melandri also broke the highest average race speed record and the riders lapped an average of 1 second per lap faster compared to 2011. I think that the race results, with three riders from 3 different motorcycle manufacturers battling it out down to the finish and the Best Lap, made by Marco Melandri in the last lap, can only confirm just how high the quality and performance level reached by our new tyres is. Last but not least, I would like to congratulate Marco Melandri, Eugene Laverty, Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli for the exciting show they put on, but also Lorenzo Savadori and Team Pedercini for an exceptional race and Sam Lowes’ podium, as well as team Yakhnich Motorsport for the result in Supersport”.

The 2013 Pirelli statistics for the Monza round: 
• Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4895
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 6 front and 6 rear
• Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 5 rear
Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 37 front and 36 rear
• Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 25 front and 27 rear
• Temperature in Race 1: air 20° C, asphalt 38° C
• Temperature in Race 2: air 24° C, asphalt 47° C
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres: 336 km/h, Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK), Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) in Race 1 respectively at 16th, 15th and 8th laps and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) in Race 2 respectively at 17th and 18th laps.
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 289,8 km/h, Gabor Talmacsi (Prorace), 2nd lap.

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