Team Suzuki Press Office – May 8. FIXI Crescent Suzuki is on its way to the picturesque Monza circuit in Italy for the fourth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship that will be held this weekend.
Jules Cluzel will be heading to a track that holds happy memories for the Frenchman: He scored his maiden World Supersport victory at the Italian circuit, on his way to runner-up in last year’s championship. Cluzel is still on a fast and steep “Superbike” learning curve, so the quick Monza circuit will certainly test his knowledge as he looks to continue with the promising form he has already shown so far this season on the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki.
Leon Camier is still recovering from the knee injury he sustained at Aragon last month; he has now had the stitches removed from the injury and is working hard to regain full fitness and movement in the joint. Camier is looking to the Monza event to regain his riding fitness following a brave comeback at Assen – just two weeks after having surgery on his knee. He showed true determination and courage to produce two good rides in The Netherlands and will now be aiming to take the next step towards full strength and kick-start his season.
The ‘Autodromo Nazionale Monza’ is a located near the town of Monza, just north of Milan. The 5,777m layout has five left turns and eight right-handers as the configuration makes its way through scenic parkland setting, through many wooded areas and past residential dwellings. It’s a mix of very long straights and tight chicanes, making good braking stability and traction as important as the high speeds that the bikes can attain over the layout, especially on its famous 1.195 kilometre long front straight, which sees the riders achieve speeds of over 320 kph. The circuit is often referred to as the ‘Temple of Speed’ and is a daily destination for tourists from Italy and abroad.
Cluzel and Camier will take to the track for the first free practice session on Friday morning as they begin their preparations for Sunday’s two races, the first of which is scheduled to get underway at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST).
“I love Monza, so I will be trying my best to get a good result there. It’s a very fast track so we have a different set-up for there and I think this will help my riding. It was a completely new circuit to me last season, but I was able to learn the track very quickly and after a few laps I was really enjoying it, and at the end of the weekend I won that race. It has a lot of fast corners and it’s really grippy and I went well in the wet and dry conditions last year, but I now have to learn how to ride a Superbike there – which will be very different to the 600 last year. The weather looks like being very good so I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”
“I’m expecting a pretty hard weekend at Monza, regardless of my fitness. It’s a tough and fast circuit to race at, but we have a few things to try and if we get the set-up right and the chassis working well we might be able to make some advantages count on the track that will help us.
“My knee is getting better all the time and I’m working hard to get it fully fit. 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.”