Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Via Vedano, 5
Parco di Monza
20052 Monza (MI)
Ticket sales: 0039-039-2482212
Local tourist info: 0039-039-323222
The pleasant town of Monza is just a short drive from Milan, so getting there is quite straight forward. From Linate airport, head north for a short distance on the Tangenziale Est ring road, and then follow the signs. If you are travelling from Milan, there is a trunk road which leaves the city and passes through Monza. If you like good Italian food (and if you have a lady in tow who likes a bit of shopping), you’ll love the place.
SBK: Pier-Francesco Chili, Italy (Suzuki GSX-R750) 1:45.47 – 122.30mph (2000)
Monza oozes history more than any other track on the calandar – not surprising for venue which can lay claim to being the oldest permanent circuit in Europe still used. Set partially within the legendary Monza banking immortalised in films like Grand Prix, Monza is second only to Hockenheim in terms of sheer speeds reached – 200mph is within sight of the fastest bikes. Because of that, the racing at Monza is often the closest of the year – the long straights promote streamlining and riders on bikes a little short of speed often stay with faster machines just by drafting and being later on the brakes into the chicanes, regularly setting up last-corner epics. The tifosi (and the most enthusiastic racetrack commentators in sport) get into it as only they can, which is an experience itself, and there are plenty of places to watch from. There are stands on the main straight, but the pick of the bunch have to be the infield grandstands overlooking the Variante Ascari chicanes, set just before the long blast towards the last turn, Parabolica. If you are on the infield, take a walk to the Parabolica – you feel like you can reach out and grab riders as they make their way round the long 180-degree right. Lap it up while you can – for some reason you often feel the next race at Monza might be the least, before they move any events there to some sterile Formula One-inspired go-kart venue.