Xerox Ducati's Troy Bayliss took the race win by 3.982secs over Alex Barros on the Klaffi Honda during an action packed fourth round of the Corona Extra Superbike World Championship.
The final podium place went to Troy Corser the defending world champion after a fraught race that saw him battle from lights to flag with Noriyuki Haga.
A seven rider pile up at the first chicane took out Fonsi Nieto, Ruben Xaus, Vittorio Iannuzzo, Michel Fabrizio, Norick Abe, Max Neukirchner and Gianluca Nannelli. A rider on the inside of the track crashed and skittled the others. Abe and Nannelli both crashed in qualifying so another fall was not what either rider needed. Neukirchner has had numerous technical issues this weekend and now a fall to add to his troubles.
The debris from the first corner crash almost caught out most of the front runners as Corser explains "I arrived at the chicane and saw the oil flags, there was a lot of dirt and grass on the track and I nearly went down on it. It was a hard race like it always is at Monza and I did struggle a little with the front brakes. It could be something simple like air in the line. I went to brake into Parabolica and the lever came right in but next time it was ok. I'm sure the boys can fix it for race two."
Alex Barros who has brought his fan club with him had another bad start, "I got a bad start and there was a lot of touching in the first corner and I ran straight on. Kagayama crashed in front of me and I nearly touched his bike. When I passed Toseland I was about two seconds behind the lead group so I just wanted to close the gap so I could get with the slip stream. I must say thank you for my team for giving me a great machine."
The first corner crash caused Bayliss similar problems "Everyone got a bit excited off the line and you saw what happened. We were all waiting to get hit from behind. On the next lap we both nearly went down. I went slow for a couple of laps to see what happened, then I put my head down got away while the guys slowed each other down. I got away which is strange for a Monza race and I felt comfortable." That wasn't the only moment he had on track "I had a moment at Ascari I just got on the gas too early and it threw me out of the seat, but I got into a good rhythm and I was happy to be out the front by myself."
James Toseland had a lucky escape early in the race when he got tangled up with Yukio Kagayama who was on a charge. Unfortunately for Kagayama he crashed out at the exit of the Ascari chicane, both he and his Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki were looking second hand. Sadly for Toseland his luck ran out when he lost the front of his Honda on the final run into Parabolica. He had been closing on the lead pack and looked like he could get a podium finish if he managed to jump onto the back of their slipstream. He ran a little wide exiting Ascari and appeared to just run on at Parabolica, as soon as his front wheel touched the grass it lost traction and he crashed.
WSBK race results (1) – Monza:
1. Troy Bayliss
2. Alex Barros
3. Troy Corser
4. Noriyuki Haga
5. Andrew Pitt
6. Karl Muggeridge
7. Regis Laconi
8. Roby Rolfo
9. Lorenzo Lanzi
10. Shinichi Nakatomi