Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport celebrated another podium finish in the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship. In the fourth round of the 2011 season at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza near Milan, Italy, Leon Haslam finished third in race one. He was forced out by a crash in race two but his team mate, Troy Corser, finished the races in seventh and fifth respectively. BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike had high hopes for success at Monza since the track was in their backyard and with the return of James Toseland. Unfortunately, while James practiced, pain in his wrist kept him out of the race and while Ayrton Badovini’s lap times were competitive, a couple of mistakes caused him to finish 11th and sixth.
It was an exciting start to the race weekend with Leon Haslam setting the fastest lap time in the first Qualifying Session and sitting on a provisional pole position. Troy Corser finished eighth but was second quickest in the morning. Italian rider Ayrton Badovini had a good start putting him in on the first row in fourth place. James Toseland was back to racing after his wrist injury during private test sessions at the Motorland Aragon circuit, covered 14 laps and set the nineteenth fastest time. James said, “Unlike Assen, where the bike was behind on development, we now have updates and we can see the difference. As far as I’m concerned I’m quite happy to be back on the bike and I want to ride, obviously not pushing for results. I do not want to force things. I need to prevent damaging the wrist which is still recovering. I must think about the next race where I will definitely be fit.”
After strong performances in the second Qualifying session and Free Practice the second day, team BMW Motorrad Motorsport consolidated on these in the deciding Superpole session.Troy, who scored the first podium for BMW one year ago at Monza, qualified fourth. His team mate, Leon, finished the very close third and final part of the Superpole in sixth, only three hundreds of a second behind Troy.
“I made a slight mistake in Superpole 1,” said Leon, “which meant I went for the qualifying tire to ensure I posted a quick time, so that’s why my lap time in SP1 was my fastest of the three sessions. In Superpole two I used the second and final set of qualifiers, but again I caught some riders in the wrong place on the track and my lap time wasn’t as quick. Still I made it through to Superpole 3. There I was forced to do the whole session on a race tire, but I still managed sixth place. With regard to tomorrow I am feeling pretty confident, our race pace is good so I am really looking forward to getting out there.”
For the BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team, Ayrton Badovini managed to get to Superpole Two but missed out on the third and final stages. “I was hoping to be stronger in practice because the grip has increased significantly but failed to lower the times,” said Ayrton. After testing and qualifying, the team decided James Toseland wasn’t ready and was held out of the races in order to be ready for the next round.
In race one, Leon fought his way up to third after starting from sixth. He battled with Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi and defended his podium position until the checkered flag. His second race ended in the first chicane. Another competitor crashed and hit Leon’s bike. Leon fell off and hurt his right foot. Troy had an excellent start in both races and was actually leading both of them. In the first race he had issues with tire wear and fell back. In the second race he was overtaken by a competitor and struggled to make up the gap. However, he crossed the finish line only 4.5 seconds behind Eugene Laverty, who won both races.
Leon said, “In race two I was hit from behind at the first corner on lap one. I am not a hundred percent sure what happened, but I crashed out of the race after getting a much better start. Following the crash I was taken to the medical center where it was confirmed that I have broken a toe on my right foot. I don’t see it being a problem for our forthcoming test or the races in Salt Lake.”
In the riders’ championship Leon Haslam is now sixth (84 points), while Troy has moved up to 11th (46 points). In the manufacturers’ standings BMW has moved up to fourth with 101 points.
For the BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team, an off-track excursion on the second lap of race one prevented Ayrton from doing better than 11th as the lap-times showed he was keeping up with the top riders. In race two, Ayrton was forced to slow to avoid the fallen riders at the first chicane finally managing a good 6th place, his best result of the season.
Another Win in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup
In Superstock, the BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team saw Lorenzo Zanetti take their second victory in two successive Sundays by beating Davide Giugliano (Ducati) in the sprint by just 65 thousandths of a second. With this win Zanetti is now third in the FIM Cup and sits just 13 points behind the leader. Their winning rider from the previous Sunday, Sylvain Barrier, was forced to retire in the first part of the race with engine failure.
Three other teams riding the BMW S1000RR finished in the top six, too. Michele Magnoni (ITA) from the Baru Racing Team was on the podium finishing third. Fabio Massei (ITA) from Team Piellemoto finished fifth and Markus Reiterberger (GER) from Garnier Alpha was sixth.