Five Irish Men, Two English and a Czech Girl.

No not the start of a very inappropriate joke but the group who enjoyed hospitality with the Alstare Team at the Monza round of the World Superbikes.

And enjoy the hospitality they did.  Things started well with about half the group arriving on Friday to see the first qualifying sessions and to be shown for the first time into both the Garage and onto Pit Lane.  Friday is a great day for this as it quieter and access is a lot easier.

The second half of the Irish contingent arrived on Friday night, being picked up personally by Pole Position from the airport. Most of the group decided an early night was a good idea but Alan had heard mention of a Paddock Party with gambling and a free bar so insisted on joining his friends at the track.

This was to be the start of a very long night.  A rough outline of which went like this.

  1. Arrive Paddock to find Eva teaching two Irishmen how to Samba

  2. First bottle of champagne won on the Roulette table

  3. Several Riders including Keith Amor found at the Roulette wheel.

  4. First bottle of Morgan’s Rum won at the Roulette Wheel.

From here it all gets a bit vague but ends with,

  1. Second bottle of rum won at the roulette table

  2. Funky Soul Disco. 

  3. Paddock departure,

  4. Bar arrival,

  5. Walk to Hotel……. the wrong way and at least one member of the party ending up sleeping in a digger!!

Next morning broke bright and sunny, well for about half of us it did.  For the rest the afternoon broke bright and sunny... On Saturday most people left the Pit Lane and garage and instead explored the track.  Monza is fantastic for access with Parabolica and the first turn favourites.  Climbing the old banked track is eye opening when you consider what they used to race on it.  There are plenty of spots around the track that you can see in the film Grand Prix and overall the feeling of history is perhaps greater than at any other track on either World Championship calendar.

After a much lower key evening of great food in one of the many great restaurants that Monza has to offer, we got an early start for Race Day!  And what can I really say? We were treated to one of the great races that Monza is famous for. We must really thank our Irish friend Eugene Laverty for obliging our customers so well by winning both races!

The race has been covered elsewhere but for us it saw half the Irish contingent standing under the podium getting splashed in Champagne and hearing ‘Amh n Na bhFiann” played.  Oh yes and then having the same thing happen again in race two!

We also caught the new Junior Cup - kids from 13-17 on identical Kawasaki 250s. We’ve been a bit of a pal with Qays Hashmi (‘Kaz’) - the only Pakistani rider on the international scene.  Keep your eyes on these guys!

All in all a great weekend and as ever:  UP THE IRISH!!

Tim Orr, 18.May.2011

See our SBK programme here. Thanks for InFront Sports for the official SBK Magazine.


Monza, Italy 6-8 May 2011 : Up the Irish!