Monday, May 7



The historic Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is a narrow almost six kilometre long, race track set in the woods of the Royal Villa of Monza outside the town of the same name, which is north of Milano.

The original track was built in 1922 and Monza has always been a very fast race circuit

This year the fastest four cylinder Superbikes were achieving speeds of more than 330 km/h in the first qualifying session, which was run entirely in dry conditions, and averaging in excess of 200 km/h for a complete lap.

You don't set speed records like this, but who can blame 
Tom Sykes for a  celebratory display ?
Although the Sky TV commentary team of Jonathan Green and Steve Martin made several mentions of the 339.5 km/h clocked by the Kawasaki ZX-10R of Tom Sykes, a Superbike World Championship record, that was when the Englishman was slip-streaming the Aprilia RSV4 of Italian Max Biaggi. Other times Sykes he was clocking in the high 320s, with a best of 327 km/h.

So just how good is a 'sling-shot' from a slip-stream of another fast motorcycle?

Well, this is what Sykes has to say:

“When I hit the new record top speed I could feel that the rpm was higher and I knew from the note of the engine that it was more than on previous laps. I could not have timed my run to get into Biaggi’s slip-stream any better. I had a fantastic run out of the Parabolica and I used Max’s draft all the way down the straight."

Here’s the order of stop speeds at Monza on May 4, 2012:

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki ZX10R) - with slip-steam:                           339.5 km/h
Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet S1000RR):                 335 km/h
Johnathan Rea (Honda CBR1000RR):                                           334 km/h
Eugene Laverty (Aprilia RSV Factory):                                         333 km/h
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR):                    331 km/h
Chaz Davies (Aprilia RSV4 Factory):                                            331 km/h
Max Biaggi (Aprilia RSV Factory):                                                330 km/h
Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR):                       329 km/h
Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet S1000RR):                329 km/h
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki ZX10R) - no slip-stream:                             327 km/h
Leon Camier (Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000):                                  320 km/h
David Salom (Kawasaki ZX-10R):                                                320 km/h
John Hopkins (Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000):                                 319 km/h
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198):                                             318 km/h
Davide Giugliano (Althea Ducati 1198):                                         317 km/h
Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbeert Liberty Racing Ducati 1198):         315 km/h

Anyone want to grizzle that motorcycles with twin cylinder engines being allowed an extra 200cc of displacement is unfair?