Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
Superbike World Championship preview - round four: Italy


Track length: 5792m
Year opened: 1922
Superbike lap record: 1'47.434 (Troy Bayliss, 2002)
Last year's winners: Regis Laconi (Ducati)

The Superbike and Supersport World Championships make the first of their three
appearances in Italy this season, as the series moves to the historic and
high-speed Monza circuit on the outskirts of Milan. While the points on offer
may be the same as at every other round, the Monza event has an extra
significance for the Yamaha Motor Italia team - the circuit is based just a
short walk from the company headquarters and huge numbers of employees and their
families will visit the circuit to cheer on riders Noriyuki Haga and Andrew Pitt.

Monza is always one of the highlights of the year. Not only is the circuit
located within a beautiful Royal park, the circuit itself is a mecca of
motorsport and simply drenched in history. Fans can expect close race racing as
the riders jockey for position down the three long straights, cheered on by a
large and passionate Italian crowd.

"Monza is very important for us," commented team coordinator Massimo Meregalli.
"The headquarters of Yamaha Motor Italia is at Germo de Lesmo, which is just a
few kilometers from Monza and we will have many, many guests here this weekend.
Our results are now improving every race and Valencia was Noriyuki's best result
of the year. We have already had a test at Monza and this went very well. Both
riders made steps forward in terms of set-up, especially Noriyuki who has so far
been finding it quite hard to get the R1 how he likes it."

The Yamaha riders go into the Monza race on the back of opposing fortunes during
the last round in Valencia. Haga had his best outing of the year, taking a
fourth and fifth place finish to move up to seventh in the championship Pitt
slipped back to eighth after a tough day that saw him crash out of the opening
race and finish eighth in race two after a small technical glitch stopped him
battling for fourth spot.

Meanwhile the Yamaha Motor France squad's Norick Abe remains the leading R1
rider in the championship, just four points ahead of Haga in fifth place,
despite crashing out of a certain podium finish in Spain. Team-mate Sebastien
Gimbert will make his Monza debut at the weekend and, although the Frenchman has
yet to find his consistency, the reigning world endurance champ is impressing
with his outright speed during this his debut superbike campaign.

Suzuki's Troy Corser will be the man to beat in Monza. The Australian has won
five out of the six races held so far this year to build a commanding lead in
the championship.

Monza - the circuit

The Monza circuit can be summed up in one word - fast! Last year the average
speed around the Italian circuit was over 190kph - over the entire race
distance - 18kph faster than the next speediest circuit on the calendar, Assen.

Yamaha Motor Italia riders Haga and Pitt spent two days testing at Monza last
week, working mainly on chassis settings, and as a result the team's YZF-R1s
will appear in Italy sporting a new swinging arm. During testing last week the
team found the swinging arm available as a YEC kit part to be the best. YEC is
the company responsible for Yamaha's customer kit parts for R-series races.

The team will also produce special 'Monza-spec' engines for the event with
additional high-rpm power at the expense of a little low-down performance. These
engines will have revised cam timing compared to those used in the opening
rounds, while exhaust supplier Termignoni will provide a different exhaust
system to complement the new engine tune.

With top speeds regularly approaching 300kph at Monza, aerodynamics can be even
more important that sheer horsepower when it comes to getting the most out of
the machine. With this in mind, the team will also be able to change the
windscreens to allow them tuck down behind the bubble and squeeze every last kph
out of their machines in what is likely to be a slipstreaming battle.

With four long straights, riders will be slipstreaming each other along and
constantly swapping positions down the long straights, as the lack of air
resistance allows them to reach higher speeds than they would unassisted. Making
a bad start and failing to join the train of leading riders will make it
difficult to gain the ground required to challenge for a leading position,
although this effect also makes it hard for one rider to break away from the
pack. As such races at Monza are usually close, exciting and difficult to predict.

Supersport World Championship

While the superbikes will no doubt be grabbing the headlines due to their
enormous top speeds at Monza, don't forget about the supersport class. The 600s
should provide typically close racing down the long Monza straights and Yamaha
Motor Germany's Kevin Curtain is the leading YZF-R6 runner in the championship,
third overall after three rounds and benefiting from the ongoing development to
the 2005 machine. With two podium finishes in a row, the experienced Australian
is looking like the most likely challenger to the Honda team-mates Sebastien
Charpentier and Katsuaki Fujiwara who, between them have won all three races.

FIM Superstock 1000 Cup

Also supporting Sunday's action will be the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup. Just like
last year's championship, round one in Valencia proved to be a Yamaha whitewash,
with R1s taking the top four places. Yamaha Motor Germany's Kenan Sofuoglu and
Didier van Keymeulen, first and second place finishers in Spain, should once
again be at the sharp end in Monza but look out too for Italian rider Massimo
Roccoli. The youngster finished third in Valencia and should prove even more
competitive on a circuit he knows well.