We’ll try to put what happened during yesterday’s World Superbike round at Monza behind us, The mixed up weather, the tires, the indecision and confusion by the Race Direction and Infront, the subsequent angry press release by the Effenbert Liberty team, Pirelli’s criticism towards riders and teams and what options they had offered and riders snapping against each other talking about safety.
It’ll be a lot better to check out our 170 photo strong mega gallery from the past weekend at the Temple of Speed and remember Tom Sykes flying down the Monza straight at 339.5 km/h on Saturday afternoon and his amazing 9.7 second lead and victory in Race 2 before it was red flagged, and read for yourself what the riders had to say after a very difficult weekend.
“My second win for Kawasaki but my first this year and it was nice to get that one under the belt. It is a shame that it is only half points but we put on a good show in eight laps and I hope I put on a good show for the Italian fans. This was my first podium at Monza so that is good and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R has been working fantastically well. Conditions have often been very bad so there has been a lot of talk and other things going on but it has been my job to keep focused. From the green light the feedback on my bike was fantastic and I was able to go about my business in a good way and keep out of trouble. I had a great start and got myself into the lead and as Elvis once said, “It’s now or never.” We went for it and every lap the bike was getting better, the track conditions better and I was confident with our package today that we could do a good race distance.”
Leon Haslam - 2nd
“The conditions this weekend were tough, especially today with the track being wet and dry. I felt confident that I was going to be able to fight for a top position. Starting from 14th on the grid was not ideal as overtaking in these conditions is quite difficult as you have to leave the dry racing line. My race went really well, but by the time I was in second Tom had already pulled away. Huge credit is due to BMW Motorrad and my crew who did a great job. I am really happy to be back on the podium. I am now looking forward to racing at Donington which will be my home race.”
Eugene Laverty - 3rd
“We were really fast here in Monza in the dry and I expected to do well. Unfortunately, after race one was rightly cancelled, we started out for race two without the certainty of being able to finish, and that’s exactly what happened. After a good start and overtaking a few positions, I was happy to have Leon Haslam in front of me, an expert rider who interprets difficult conditions well. I’m pleased with the third place - my second podium in a row - and now we’ll head for Donington where I hope to continue my positive trend.”
Marco Melandri - 4th
“It was the right decision to cancel the first race today. It had rained a lot, and there are different tarmacs on the track. While the new tarmac doesn’t allow for the water to drain away, the old asphalt is different and dries up very quickly. It would have been dangerous to go out with the rain tyre under those conditions. The second race went well for me. I decided not to push too hard at the beginning of the race just to get into the rhythm. I started to feel really comfortable in the lap before the red flag. I felt quite good on the bike, but unfortunately the rain came too early.”
Max Biaggi - 5th
“It’s hard to even know what to say after a Sunday like this one. Without the rain everyone would have had a lot more fun - the riders first and foremost, as well as the fans. Among other things, while coming back in after race one had been suspended I also had a mechanical problem which would very likely have conditioned any restart. Race two, on the other hand, was looking good for us. As the track improved I was able to push and I would definitely have made a play for the lead pack. It’s true that we’re ahead in points, but not with the margin that we could have been on a track that is so favourable to four cylinders.”
Jonathan Rea - 6th
“It’s been a manic, crazy weekend. As they say here: it’s a big casino! The weather has played havoc and it’s been a little bit like the Assen story with wet and dry. The problem here is that we’re doing 330kph down the straight and the centre is just falling out of the wet weather tyre. So it’s completely unsafe to ride in the wet conditions and that’s why they cancelled race one. Race two was declared dry but the Parabolica was completely wet and even in the race we had to be very careful at the beginning. But I’m happy with sixth here – the bike’s working really well and I’m really happy with the set-up. It’s just that down the straights here at Monza we didn’t have the speed to challenge the Aprilias and BMWs. Anyway, the team’s been working hard on a good set-up so we’re looking forward to going to Donington.
Carlos Checa - 7th
“In Race 1 most of the riders stated that it was too dangerous to re-start in the mixed conditions that we had at that moment. While some parts of the track were drying, other sections were very wet and so riding with slicks would have been impossible, while it wasn’t wet enough for the rain tyres. Then, when it started to rain hard, I was ready to race in ‘full wet’ conditions but Race Direction decided to cancel it. I helped Biaggi back to the box when his bike stopped. We’re rivals yes, but not enemies! I would have done the same for any rider who asked. Race 2 was brief but I’m pleased with the outcome as far as the points are concerned because we were able to limit the damage as we had hoped to.”
Davide Giugliano - 8th
“It’s been a long day. The shortened second race went quite well for me in that I made quite a good start, started to gain confidence with the track and the mixed conditions and was able to stick with the group ahead of me. Of course I had hoped to do more here this weekend but the very changeable conditions didn’t allow it. I agreed with Race Direction’s decision, we had to at least try and race – we did that in race 2, at least until the heavy rain arrived.
Anyway, we take some points for the championship and start to prepare for Donington.”
Ayrton Badovini - 10th
“It’s been a troubled day. The crazy weather meant we couldn’t show our true potential. I’m sorry for how the things went but, fortunately, we’ll be back on track at Donington next weekend. I’m sorry for all the supporters who couldn’t enjoy a full show.”
Hiroshi Aoyama – 11th
It was a very weird weekend and we had a lot of changing conditions. In the first race there was too much rain and we decide to stop and I think it was quite a good decision. The second race, as well, there were quite strange conditions but we eventually had to go with slick tyres. Finally we started the race and I missed the start a little bit and missed turn one also. But from that I started to re-focus for the race and I could catch up and get to eleventh which is not too bad. The positive thing is that I could feel a little bit more on the bike so this something positive for next weekend in Donington and I’m looking forward to going there now.
Leon Camier - 15th
“Today was embarrassing because I was running around with people I knew I could beat. I could catch them on the brakes, but once we exited the turns, they left me for dead. We all knew that there might be problems today if it was wet or partially wet, because in practice and qualifying the rain tyres destroyed themselves after about five or six laps, so there was no way that they would’ve lasted a race distance. We all hoped for dry conditions, but they never happened. The organisers were aware of the problems with the wet tyres and both their decisions today were the right ones.”
Niccolò Canepa - 17th
“Not much to say about thr races today, because they have decided to cancel after three laps. In race two, I started a little cautious, don’t like to take unnecessary risks and don’t like to damage the tires. I was hoping to go for the distance and catch up from mid-race, but unfortunately also race two was decided to cancel after eight laps. I understand that the rain had suspended the race, but I would expect to be able to resume with rain tires. Only when I saw that they were organizing the podium I realized that the race was over. I do not agree at all the choice and I think it would be better to be on track and finish the remaining laps with rain tires. This also shows respect of those who paid for the ticket here at Monza, and all the other fans who followed us through television. It will be certainly disappointed for many fans.
John Hopkins - DNS
“That was not a good weekend. I got pretty banged up in the first race crash and damaged my left hip and broke a bone in my right foot. I don’t know what happened because the bike suddenly let go without any warning. It’s a big shame because I had been really looking forward to this weekend and continuing my improvement. Today’s conditions were treacherous and all the changes of weather didn’t help at all. There was no way we could ride on the wets, so the right decisions were made.”
Michel Fabrizio - DNS
“In race one I was doing well and rising in the standings before the race was stopped and then cancelled. I couldn’t even take part in race two as I was forced to stop on the warm-up lap so I couldn’t get lined up on the starting grid.”
Sergio Gadea - DNS
“My first time on a 1000cc bike and I was very happy with the team, the bike and all things. The bike is very powerful. I enjoyed racing in this championship. I fell in the first race on lap three when it started to rain and we could not get out again for race two.”