Monza: Ducati preview

LACONI AND TOSELAND (DUCATI FILA) LINE UP FOR MONZA SLIPSTREAMING ACTION Monza (Italy), 13 May 2004: The second of two back-to-back World Superbike races in Italy sees the championship regulars head to the legendary Autodromo Nazionale di Monza...


Monza (Italy), 13 May 2004: The second of two back-to-back World Superbike races in Italy sees the championship regulars head to the legendary Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on the outskirts of Milan, for the usual bout of high-speed slipstreaming action.

Regis Laconi (Ducati Fila) took a major step forward in his title challenge at Misano with a win and a second place in difficult conditions. The 28 year-old Frenchman, third in the table on 70 points, 27 adrift of leader Chili (PSG Ducati), went well at Monza last year, finishing second in race 1 and fourth in race 2, setting fastest lap along the way.

"I feel much happier after Misano than before because I did a couple of good races in difficult conditions" declared Laconi. "Now I feel I'm going in the right direction. I'm looking forward to Monza because I want to do the same there and get more points in the championship.

"I've had some good races at Monza. It's a great place to race, there are very big fights all the time. For sure it's only long straights, hard braking and the chicanes but it's a track I like a lot.

"We have been working very well since the start of the season and I've got a good feeling with the 999. I think that if it's dry we can be very fast at Monza. I have everything, a fast bike and a great team, so we should be competitive."

James Toseland salvaged some points from a difficult Misano weekend with a tenth and sixth place from a row 5 start, but the 23 year-old from Sheffield feels there is a lot more to come following last week's testing at the Monza track.

"I can't wait to get back on my 999 after we turned the bike upside-down during last week's Monza test" declared James. "Basically it seemed to suit Valencia and wasn't dialled in at all for Phillip Island and Misano, but now we know the right direction to go in.

"I have some good memories of Monza, it's a great circuit. I've always been fast there, it's just that I've never had good results. Last year I was rubbing shoulders with Laconi and Hodgson and eventually finished fourth and fifth. I don't mind all the slipstreaming and fairing-bashing that goes on at Monza!

"As the podium at Monza over the track is one of the most amazing in the world, I really want to be standing on it on Sunday!"

POINTS (after 3 of 11 rounds): (Riders) 1. Chili 97; 2. Toseland 77; 3. Laconi & Vermeulen 70; 5. Haga 69; 6. McCoy 55; etc. (Manufacturers) 1. Ducati 150; 2. Petronas 71; 3. Honda 70; 4. Kawasaki 36; 5. Suzuki 32; 6. Yamaha 16.

CIRCUIT INFO Name: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Length: 5.793 km. Pole Position: left. Corners Left/Right: 5/8. Finish Line Length: 1.195 km.

STATISTICS Best lap: Hodgson (Ducati), 1'46.981 (2003). Lap record: Bayliss (Ducati), 1'47.434 (2002). Superpole: Hodgson (Ducati), 1'46.981 (2003). Race Distance: 2 x 18 laps/104.256 km.

TV COVERAGE Eurosportnews (Europe, via satellite): Sunday 16 May, 12.00 - 16.45 Superbike 1, Supersport, Superbike 2 (live); Eurosport (Europe, via satellite): Sunday 16 May, 00.00 (highlights). La 7 (Italy): Saturday 15 May, 1745 Superpole (delayed); Sunday 16 May, 1600 Superbike 1 (delayed), 1650 Supersport (delayed), 1730 Superbike 2 (delayed).


Monza (Italy), 13 May 2004: Ducati Breil's World Supersport attack takes a further step forward this weekend as Vittoriano Guareschi teams up with regular rider Lorenzo Lanzi for round 4 of the championship at Monza. The 32 year-old from Parma has spent the last two years testing the Desmosedici, and is raring to race once again in the championship in which he made his name.

"I actually feel a bit rusty" declared Guareschi, "but it's more to do with the rain that fell in the last test than anything else! I'm desperate to get back on the track again, the last time was in 2002 in a round of the Italian championship.

"Supersport has always been a difficult category, now it seems even tougher. In 2001 I set pole position in this race with the 748 and finished seventh, so Monza has always been one of my favourite tracks. I can see that the 749R has improved a lot in the last two months, so we are aiming to get another positive result this weekend."

Lorenzo Lanzi will be taking part in his third race on home soil in the last month this weekend as he lines up for the Monza round. Following a sixth place at Misano, Lanzi was a 'wild-card' entry in last weekend's Italian Supersport round at Imola, where the 22 year-old from Romagna finished on the podium in third.

Lanzi is aiming for further progress against the championship regulars on the ultra-fast Monza track, which is well known for its diehard slipstreaming Supersport action.

"We always go to a race with the aim of getting a good result and Monza is no different to any other round" declared Lanzi. "My 749R has improved a lot since the start of the season and also at Imola we were able to do a lot of work in preparation for this round.

"At Monza you need a powerful engine to tackle the long straights and also a good chassis set-up for the chicanes. The 749R has a good top speed, so that's already one point in our favour.

"Last year I finished third in the Superstock race, which was a good result so Monza is a track I like a lot. Hopefully there is a lot of close racing because that's what I like the most."

POINTS (after 3 of 10 rounds): (Riders) 1. VD Goorbergh 57; 2. Curtain 47; 3. Muggeridge 37; 4. Fujiwara 34; 5. Lanzi & Foret (Yamaha) 30; etc. (Manufacturers) 1. Yamaha 65 ; 2. Honda 59 ; 3. Suzuki 35; 4. Ducati 30; 5. Kawasaki 8.

STATISTICS Best lap: Muggeridge (Honda), 1'51.480 (2003). Lap record: Vermeulen (Honda), 1'52.635 (2003). Race Distance: 16 laps/92.672 km.


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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers James Toseland , Lorenzo Lanzi , Vittoriano Guareschi , Laconi Régis , Phillip Island