Monza's historic Curva Biassono is set to be largely bypassed by a new circuit layout set to be introduced ahead of the circuit's return to the World Superbike Championships in July. The new section of course utilises part of the long-abandoned Pirelli test circuit before heading to a new left-right chicane which rejoins the main circuit.
The changes will allow the bike racers - and possibly LMP1 cars during testing - to bypass the first chicane altogether. Around 400 trees will be felled to create additional run-off along the new section of track; these will be replanted elsewhere around Monza's Royal Park. Car races will continue to use the current circuit layout.
The plans, revealed in Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport, have been penned by Jarno Zaffelli's Dromo company, which has also penned modifications to the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, as well as resurfacing projects at Imola, Misano and Mugello.
The new works will reportedly be completed for around €4 million and are awaiting final approval from public authorities, though the financing and executive sign-off on the project have been in place for several months.
A key feature of the new track will be a 2.5 metre elevation change in the new chicane, which will create a blind crest. Gazzetta reports that Sebastian Vettel has supposedly tried the new layout in a simulator and reported his surprise at how difficult it was to choose the correct line.
Production bikes last raced at Monza in 2013 and there have been numerous problems with collisions at the tight first chicane in past World Superbike encounters, particularly at the start of races when the field is bunched. Despite being eased for bike racers, the first chicane is still regarded as too problematic for two-wheeled machinery.
Negotiations are still continuing between the circuit and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone over a renewed contract for Monza to host the Italian Grand Prix. The Automobile Club of Italy and the Automobile Club Of Milan have both made positive noises in recent days that a deal is close to being concluded for a seven year contract extension.