Monza Preview From Ducati

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
The World Superbike Championship returns to Europe this weekend for round5 of 13 at the high-speed Monza Grand Prix circuit on the outskirts ofMilan. The legendary 5.793 km track always sees close, slipstreamingbattles for the lead and this year promises more of the same, with alleyes on reigning champion Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada), whose chargetowards the 2001 world title began exactly one year ago at this circuit.

Troy has won six of the eight races held so far this year and considersthe Monza parkland circuit one of his favorites. "I'm really lookingforward to racing at Monza, it's one of my favorite circuits and we gota double win there last year," he declared...

"We tested there last weekand things went well. I just love the atmosphere and the park makes itreally special. This year it's going to be tougher than ever, Colin willbe up there and so will Ben, Ruben, Haga and Hodgson after hisperformance in Japan. There will be five or six guys slipstreaming at thefront for a while and then we'll see what happens in the last couple oflaps."

Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada), who injured two fingers of his left handin a crash at the last round in Sugo, comes to Monza after an operationlast week to patch up his skin. "I like Monza, it's a great place torace, but it all depends on the weather, which for the moment doesn'tlook too good for the weekend," declared Ruben. ^"If it rains then youhave to set the bike up both for the wet as well as the dry and in thatcase you won't see much slipstreaming. My hand feels OK now and I can'twait to start the races on Sunday."

Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M), who celebrated his 28th birthday on Tuesday,also approaches the Italian WSBK Round in a confident frame of mind.

"There are no words to describe Monza and I'm very excited about therace this weekend," declared Ben. "I now feel a lot happier with theset-up after we tested here last week. We changed the steering geometry abit to make it feel more comfortable and I'll be able to fine-tune it onFriday and Saturday in qualifying. I really enjoy the Monza track, withits long straights, left-right chicanes and the strong exit from theParabolica curve and it's just a fantastic atmosphere riding through thetrees."


The Monza WSBK round will also see the Ducati Infostrada bikes of TroyBayliss and Ruben Xaus sport an exciting new colour scheme. Following astrategic integration between the various activities of Gruppo Wind,which has also led to the logos of Infostrada and Libero being revamped,the orange and blue colours that characterize all the company'scommunications activities will now also be present on the DucatiInfostrada team bikes of Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus, starting fromMonza.

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