Massimiliano Biaggi, also called the Roman Emperor, has smashed the pole record at Monza for the World Superbikes and has qualified in pole position on his Alitalia Aprilia. The ageing Italian who is the defending champion has had a difficult start to the season this year but he seems to be putting together things and building his defence properly. Meanwhile his rival, another ageing rider, Carlos Checa on the Althea Ducati could only manage eleventh on the grid. Checa has a history of not going too well at Monza. Aprilia had done some additional work for the Monza race since the hallowed circuit in Italy is where Aprilia, an Italian marque, with an Italian rider would like to stamp its authority over its arch rival, the other Italian marque, Ducati. The races should be fun.