“I have learned that I have to try and get myself inside the bike sooner on the exit of the corner in order to reduce the drag and be faster on the straights,” said Davies following testing at the wind-tunnel. “It was good to see what difference that will make if we can improve that for the next race. Especially on a track like Monza, the aerodynamic efficiency is very important because every lap we are wide open for much longer than any other circuit on the calendar.”
Davies’ teammate, Marco Melandri, underwent similar testing in 2012 while acquainting himself with the S1000RR. The 2013 season has been difficult for the Italian following an early crash that left him injured and a subsequent shoulder surgery to alleviate pain that made it difficult for him to compete over race distance. He revealed in a team PR that he’s feeling fit and is optimistic about his chance to perform well in the coming round since Monza is less physically demanding than other circuits on the calendar.
Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes is the third rider mathematically tied for second-place and he’ll look to carry the momentum he picked-up at Assen, where he finished 1-2, to move up the championship tally. Sykes nabbed his first win of 2012, and the second of his career, in the round at Monza and he’s the only Kawasaki rider in the past 11 years to finish a race at the venue inside the top-5. His teammate, Loris Baz, currently sits sixth overall and earned his first podium in Race 2 at the Assen TT.
Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea is five points ahead of Baz in fifth overall. Rea has never reached the podium at Monza but has finished consistently within the top-10. His teammate, Leon Haslam, suffered a big crash during the opening sessions at Assen and broke his leg. There is currently no replacement for Haslam listed in the provisional entry list for Monza.
Team Ducati Alstare continues to deal with injuries as well. Carlos Checa discovered an osseous edema on the head of the humerus of his left shoulder during a recent medical check-up that has been the cause of significant pain. He’s been hard at work in physiotherapy to alleviate the inflammation. His teammate, Ayrton Badovini missed Round 1 at Phillip Island entirely after injuries made him unfit to race, and since has struggled to find a competitive pace. He’s currently failed to finish inside the top-10, with his best result coming at Aragon where he went 10-10.
Red Devils Roma’s Michel Fabrizio will look to regain a spot on the podium at the Italian circuit where he earned the first Superbike win of his career in 2009.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Jules Cluzel grabbed his first Supersport win of 2012 at Monza. Through the first three rounds of his rookie Superbike season, the French rider has finished as high as sixth, taken in Race 1 at Aragon, and will push for improved results at the Italian circuit. His teammate, Leon Camier, continues to recover from a knee injury sustained at Aragon. He underwent surgery to fix the issue and jumped back on his bike to compete at Assen, just two weeks after the procedure.
“My knee is getting better all the time and I’m working hard to get it fully fit,” said Camier. “It was pretty swollen after the race at Assen, but since then I’ve had the stitches out and it’s healed really well. It’s ok now, but still quite sore. I’ve done lots of gym work and a bit of hiking in the mountains to get it stronger and the movement better. It will still take a bit of time to get it 100%, but I am looking forward to getting back on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki to get myself bike fit, especially with my home race coming up soon.”
Riders begin turning laps on Friday with Free Practice followed by Superpole on Saturday and races Sunday. Check back to MotoUSA for full World Superbike coverage from Monza.