BMW Motorrad Motorsport - WSBK - Monza - Preview
Italy – Monza.
04th– 06th May 2012
4th of 14 race weekends
Munich/Stephanskirchen, 30th April 2012. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport is preparing for its second Italian outing in the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship. The fourth race weekend of the season is scheduled for this weekend (4th to 6th May) at the “Autodromo Nazionale di Monza” (ITA). After three strong opening rounds, the team is looking to challenge at the very front of the field again with its two factory riders, the Italian local hero Marco Melandri and Britain’s Leon Haslam.
Marco finished runner-up on his BMW S 1000 RR at the season-opener in Australia. At the first Italian job, in Imola at the beginning of April, Leon finished third in both races to claim two podium finishes. When the series arrived in Assen (NED), both Marco and Leon came within touching distance of the first victory for BMW Motorrad in the Superbike World Championship. However, they just lacked that vital little bit of good fortune in perilous conditions. The team and both factory riders have good memories of the Royal Park in Monza: in 2010 the circuit was the scene of the team’s first podium in the World Championship. Last year, Marco finished runner-up in Monza, while Leon finished third on his RR to claim his place on the podium.
Three race weekends into the 2012 season, Marco currently lies fifth in the Riders’ Championship with 66 points, level on points with fourth-placed Sylvain Guintoli (FRA). Leon is not far behind in seventh place with 58 points. Together, the pair has already scored 124 points for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport this year. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW is third with 86 points. Only the best result from each race counts towards this championship.
Monza from the riders’ point of view:
“I think that Monza can be a good track for us. It is a very nice circuit and has a completely different characteristic to normal motorcycle tracks. It is very, very fast, very high-speed and requires very hard braking. I like all the corners, but the ‘Ascari’ corner is something special. It is the only combination of three corners in a row, so it is good fun. And the last corner is very important to get a good result. I hope that the weather will better than at Assen.
We just have to keep working hard and try to be consistent during the race. The championship is very open and it is easy to make mistakes, especially under tricky conditions. So we need to be very focused and try to give our best in every race.”
“We are making big, big steps. In Imola we had a double podium and, had things gone a little bit differently, we could have challenged Carlos Checa for the win. In Assen we definitely had the chance to win in both races – if we had chosen the right tyre and I had not crashed. These are a lot of ‘ifs’, but at least we now can say ‘if’ when we are talking about victories.
Monza is a track I like. I got made it onto the podium there last year. It would have been a double podium if I had not been taken out in the first corner in race two, when another rider crashed and my bike was hit, causing me to fall too. On this circuit you have a lot of heavy braking and you need to get the bike balanced as you brake. You mostly have chicanes leading onto the long straights, so you need your bike to accelerate well out of these chicanes. Obviously Aprilia is going to be the bike to beat there, but our RR is fast and strong. I am hoping for a good race and to challenge for the win again.”
Monza from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
“We showed in Assen that we are competitive in all conditions, but returned home with fewer points than we could have. To get these points is the target for the next race in Monza. It is a very special race track with long straights, where we will be able to make best use of the powerful engine on our BMW S 1000 RR. However, we must also be ready for the slow chicanes with their changes of directions and the famous ‘Lesmo’ and ‘Parabolica’ corners.
Both of our riders have good memories from last year’s races in Monza, as both were on the podium. Even last year, Leon was one in contention for the win. And our bike has been continuously further developed since then. As such, we are confident that our talented riders will compete for the top positions again. In preparation for the races we will work on the set-up, trying to get the maximum from all the new parts we have introduced during the most recent tests.”
Monza from Pirelli’s point of view:
Monza is Pirelli’s home race, since the company’s headquarters are just a few kilometres from the “Autodromo Nazionale of Monza”. This track is historically probative for tyres: the extreme length of the straight stretches, the sustained high speeds and the violent braking zones stress the central part of the tyre section in a way that no other track in the Superbike World Championship does. Basically, the thermal energy developed at null lean angle both in acceleration and in braking is about 5 times more than that developed at Assen. And then there is the thermal stress on the right shoulder where, especially in the “Biassono” curve, the tyre stays leaned over for a long time at high speeds during acceleration, reaching thermal energy values on the shoulder that approach the record values of Phillip Island.
For this reason, Pirelli has decided to bring four solutions for the rear for the riders to choose from: an SC0 and an SC1 with an oversized 200 profile like the ones already seen during the Australian round. The third solution is also SC1 and last, but not least, the fourth solution is an SC2, both of which are in the standard size. The SC0 and the two SC1 solutions have a reinforced central section, which uses an SC2 compound, precisely for the reasons described above.
The Royal Park in Monza has played a major role in the history of motor racing. For 90 years the “Autodromo Nazionale di Monza” has hosted thrilling automobile and motorcycle races, and the track has witnessed its fair share of motorsport history. The high-speed circuit was opened in 1922, and the mere mention of the names of its infamous corners, including “Parabolica”, “Lesmo” and “Ascari”, is enough to set the pulses of fans around the world racing. The town of Monza has a population of about 120,000 residents, and is situated in the region of Lombardy in the north of Italy, between Milan and Lake Como. The town’s history dates back to the sixth century, but it has achieved fame thanks to motorsport. Since the 1920s, the “Autodromo Nazionale di Monza” has been the venue of the Italian Grand Prix, which has belonged to the Formula One World Championship since 1950. The Superbike World Championship has also been coming to Monza since 1990.
The high-speed circuit is not particularly demanding from a rider’s point of view, but is a real challenge for the bikes. The layout combines long straights, ultra-quick corners and slow chicanes. On the one hand, the top speed and performance of the bike is absolutely essential. On the other hand, the chicanes – the first of which is particularly slow – provide a real test for the brakes. The bike must be stable and react well to braking, even at low speeds. At the same time, the bike must also accelerate well out of the slow chicanes, allowing the riders to take plenty of speed into the subsequent long straights. The “Lesmo” corner is one of the key spots on the circuit: it is important to find the right braking point here, in order to avoid losing valuable time. The combination of high-speed sections and stop-go passages also put the tyres under extreme strain.
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport achieved its first major milestone in Monza in 2010, when the team claimed its first podium finish in the Superbike World Championship with Troy Corser (AUS). In 2011, Leon Haslam (GBR) presented the team with another Monza podium. After Imola, Monza is the second home race of the season for BMW Motorrad factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA).
Facts and figures:
Autodromo Nazionale di Monza / 6th May 2012
Start time Race 1 (local/CET)
12.00 hrs / 12.00 hrs
Start time Race 2 (local/CET)
15.30 hrs / 15.30 hrs
5.777 km / 103.986 km (18 laps)
5 left-hand and 8 right-hand corners
Race 1: Eugene Laverty, Yamaha WSBK Team, 31.09,584 min.
Race 2: Eugene Laverty, Yamaha WSBK Team, 31.19,948 min.
Fastest race lap 2011
Max Biaggi, Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team, 1.43,023 min.
Top speed: 332,5 km/h (Melandri, Laverty, Biaggi, Camier)
Longest section at full throttle: 13 sec / 992 m
Fastest corner: Curva Grande, 5th gear, 224 km/h
Maximum deceleration: 327 km/h – 78 km/h
Date of birth
Place of birth
Ravenna / Italy
London / Great Britain
Smalley / Great Britain
2011, Phillip Island (AUS)
2003, Brands Hatch (GBR)
Fastest race laps
Best World Championship placing
WSBK points 2012
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Munich and Stephanskirchen (GER)
2009, Phillip Island (AUS)
4th(2011), 311 points
6th (2010), 201 points
6th (2009), 141 points
WSBK points 2012
86 (Manufacturer) / 124 (Team)
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