Max Biaggi captured the 2012 World Superbike title and will bow out of the sport on top, announcing his retirement during a recent press conference at the Vallelunga Circuit.
After proving that old age and treachery trump youth and exuberance by capturing the World Superbike championship for the second time in three years, Max Biaggi
announced his retirement in a press conference at the Vallelunga Circuit.
"I really wanted this press conference because today is an important moment for Biaggi as a person," explained the 41-year-old legend. He abandons this world as world champion, a man of sport, to make way for a Biaggi that maybe very few people know really well.
"I chose Vallelunga because everything began here for me. It began by chance many years ago, a sort of magic world for a young guy who had absolutely nothing to do with the world of bikes, but then something sparked off in me and afterwards it became a dream that has taken me a very long way.”
"All of my life in the last 20 years has been part of a very contorted world, full of joy and difficult moments, ups and downs, but what made the real difference was the passion that has pushed me towards always giving my best and my all. This passion for racing has taken me onto some great achievements. I have had many companions along the way, but one that truly stands out is Aprilia, with whom together we have written some important chapters in racing history. It was true love! We got together, we left each other, we hitched up again. And for this reason it is right and I am happy that I am retiring as world champion with Aprilia.”
Max Biaggi at Magny-Cours in 2012, accepting the 2012 WSBK title by just half a point over British rider Tom Sykes.
Throughout his career Max Biaggi was a polarizing figure. While he enjoyed the adoration of his Roman-Italian fan base, he didn’t always play nice with his competition. The rivalry between he and Loris Capirossi started back in their days battling in the 250 Grand Prix ranks and ended with the two riders becoming two of the most popular GP racers of their era. Along the way, Biaggi went head-to-head with The Doctor during his decade in MotoGP as well. The two riders battled through the 500cc Grand Prix era and ushered in the 990cc 4-strokes before Biaggi left the series in 2005.
Following a year layoff he returned to competition in World Superbike as one of the first legitimate former GP contenders to take their talents to WSBK. After changing from Suzuki to Ducati and ultimately back to Aprilia, Biaggi found his lost mojo heading into his fourth year. His reunion with Aprilia, the brand that had helped make him a four-time Grand Prix champion, led to the 2010 World Superbike championship. Two years later he was crowned again and shortly thereafter the rumors were swirling about his impending retirement. His vacancy opens up a seat with one of the most coveted rides in World Superbike which should make for some exciting and unexpected movement in what has become the premiere championship of the global motorcycle road racing scene.
"It wasn't an easy decision to make, and last night was the longest night of my life. For sure nothing will be the same as before but I am serene because it was a decision I wanted to make, not one I was forced into making. In any case together with Aprilia we are discussing about a project in the not too distant future and I hope I will be able to give you some more information soon.”
Max Biaggi Career Highlights
"It wasn't an easy decision to make, and last night was the longest night of my life," said Biaggi of coming to the decision to retire from professional motorcycle racing.
2012 – 1st World Superbike – Aprilia
2011 - 3rd World Superbike - Aprilia
2010 - 1st World Superbike - Aprilia
2009 - 4th World Superbike - Aprilia
2008 - 7th World Superbike - Ducati
2007 - 3rd World Superbike - Suzuki
2005 - 5th MotoGP - Honda
2004 - 3rd MotoGP - Honda
2003 - 3rd MotoGP - Honda
2002 - 2nd MotoGP - Yamaha
2001 - 2nd 500cc MotoGP - Yamaha
2000 - 3rd 500cc MotoGP - Yamaha
1999 - 4th 500cc MotoGP - Yamaha
1998 - 2nd 500cc MotoGP - Honda
1997 - 1st 250cc MotoGP - Honda
1996 - 1st 250cc MotoGP - Aprilia
1995 - 1st 250cc MotoGP - Aprilia
1994 - 1st 250cc MotoGP - Aprilia
1993 - 4th 250cc MotoGP - Honda
1992 - 5th 250cc MotoGP - Aprilia
1991 - 27th 250cc MotoGP - Aprilia
1991 - 1st European 250cc - Aprilia
1990 - 1st Italian 125cc Sport Production