First let us get the news bit out of the way, before we start talking about the controversies that hit the World Superbikes paddock at Monza. While the Superstock and Supersport races were run almost normally, the Superbikes races had problems. The first race was cancelled due to track conditions being unsuitable to racing since for most of the weekend there was rain. The drying and wet conditions combination was something about which some riders complained and finally when the skies opened up it was decided that it was unsafe to race and therefore the first race was cancelled. Then the second race commenced but ran only for eight laps before the deluge hit again and Race Direction thought it prudent to end the race after the eight laps and only half points were awarded to the winner Tom Sykes on the Kawasaki ZX10R and the other podium finishers Leon Haslam on the BMW S1000R (in second place) and Eugene Laverty on the Aprilia RSV4 who finished in third place.
Now for the controversies. Pirelli was at the centre of it with some of the teams claiming that the tyres provided by the Italian tyre maker were sub par and that the centre of the tyre was beginning to melt in the drying conditions. Pirelli’s rebuttal was simple. It said there were two kinds of tyres available for the said conditions and that the teams refused to take Pirelli’s advice on which was more suitable for the conditions and therefore the problem arose. In the paddock however not too many people have been buying this argument with some of them claiming that it is easy to say these things after the problems had surfaced and that things would not have been too different even if the other compound tyres were chosen. The second controversy was the one created by team Liberty Effenbert Ducati who had secured pole position with their rider Sylvain Guintoli on the Ducati 1198R. Their claim was that the cancellation of the first race and the truncating of the second race were done by Race Direction which came under pressure from some teams and riders. The team claimed that people who had come to spectate had been cheated of their money and favouring some teams meant that at a sporting level other teams (such as itself) had suffered and lost an opportunity of victory. The team runs a very large operation in World Superbike Championship with presence in almost all categories. The team then went to say that under the given circumstances it will reconsider its participation in the series. World Superbikes loss turning into MotoGP gain? Probably not, it could just be letting off some steam.
Meanwhile Tom Sykes wins but yet again in the wet and not in the dry though he was leading by nearly 10 seconds over second placed Haslam. This must be more bitter than sweet for Kawasaki and Sykes who will be desperate to prove that they can win races even in normal conditions. BMW will have to wait for some more time before they get their first victory in World Superbikes. Series leaders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi maybe a bit relieved, especially the former since he was sure that he would lose massively on points at Monza given the unsuitability of the Ducati to the high speed circuit that favours four cylinder engined bikes.