BMW's Leon Haslam has idenfied that getting his S1000RR World Superbike balanced on the brakes is a crucial as outright top speed at this weekend's Monza round, given the long straights and tight chicanes employed at the Italian track.
The Derbyshire man, who was a victim of the the first-chicane pile up last year, says that getting the bike stopped from more than 200mph down to first gear is as vital as the top end achieved just prior to that, but getting out the tight corners is also at the top of the list.
“We are making big, big steps. In Imola we had a double podium and, had things gone a little bit differently, we could have challenged Carlos Checa for the win. In Assen we definitely had the chance to win in both races – if we had chosen the right tyre and I had not crashed. These are a lot of ‘ifs’, but at least we now can say ‘if’ when we are talking about victories," said Haslam.
"Monza is a track I like. I got made it onto the podium there last year. It would have been a double podium if I had not been taken out in the first corner in race two, when another rider crashed and my bike was hit, causing me to fall too. On this circuit you have a lot of heavy braking and you need to get the bike balanced as you brake. You mostly have chicanes leading onto the long straights, so you need your bike to accelerate well out of these chicanes. Obviously Aprilia is going to be the bike to beat there, but our bike fast and strong and I am hoping for a good race and to challenge for the wins again and keep the momentum going."