As the 2010 World Superbike Championship circus arrives at Monza this weekend, Yamaha Sterilgarda rookie Cal Crutchlow has revealed that he can think of no better way to banish the memory of his disappointing outing at Assen, than to register his second rostrum finish in the series around the legendary Italian circuit.
Having uncharacteristically struggled in qualifying in the Netherlands down in ninth place – bearing in mind that he commandingly stormed to consecutive pole positions during the Superpole sessions in both of the two preceding rounds at Portimão and Valencia – Crutchlow maintained that low-key form on race day at Assen, taking an eighth place and a DNF to lose ground in the title chase, as team-mate James Toseland notched up a brace of podiums.
On his maiden competitive appearance at Monza last year, however, the 24-year-old secured the hat-trick of pole, a dominant race victory and fastest lap – and returning to the revered Autodromo Nazionale twelve months on, he is hoping to rediscover the rostrum for the first time since Portugal at the end of March.
“I'm looking forward to putting the Assen weekend behind me and getting back to the front at Monza,” he asserted. “We've been working hard as a team to keep improving the bike, and it was really useful to spend the two days [testing] at Misano working on a set up for me.
“I'm confident both James and I can be at the front this weekend and fighting for podiums on Sunday. I love the high-speed Monza circuit and enjoyed racing there on the Supersport bike last year – so I can't wait to tackle it with the R1!”
“The Misano test was really interesting for us, using different approaches to chassis set-up,” added the Coventry-born star's crew chief Marcus Eschenbacher. “We've improved our mid-corner grip and stability and also our straight-line traction and drive coming out of the corners.
“Monza has the highest average speed of any circuit we visit this year, with chicanes in-between the high-speed sections, so we will be setting up for high-speed stability as well as working on a bike that can change direction quickly and drive out of the chicanes.”