Race 1 for World Superbike at Monza proved to be an interesting affair this Sunday, as the race was ultimately cancelled for safety reasons. Starting normally under dry conditions, riders took to the track on slicks, only to have the race red-flagged two laps after its start.
While the WSBK paddock scrambled for a restart under wet conditions, riders lead by Carlos Checa had a meeting on the starting grid after the sighting lap. Realizing that parts of the track were damp, while others were dry, concerns returned whether the Pirelli rain tires would be able to go the race distance, as they had lasted for only several laps during Saturday’s Superpole.
The issue wasn’t made any better by Pirelli’s solution to use cut racing slicks as makeshift intermediate tires. Since its standard intermediate tires were of the same compound as the wets, the intermediates were as well failing under the tough conditions Monza posed with its long upright straights. With the slicks being of a different compound, the hope was that Pirelli could cut groves into the slicks to funnel away an appropriate amount of water, and thus have a tire solution for race day.
World Superbike riders seemed less-than-enthusiastic about this solution though, with the more veteran WSBK riders hopping into the two safety cars, rain continued to pummel the Italian track. Faced with the possibility of some teams not having rain tires, and fear that the rain tires that were available would not last the distance in the conditions, the riders ultimately persuaded Race Direction to abort Race 1 — much to the chagrin of Italian fans, and perhaps more importantly, Pirelli.
Source: WSBK; Photo: Kawasaki Racing