Max Biaggi


His career originally proved to be profoundly different than that of his "colleagues".

Max loved football until, for his 17 years, he was given a minimoto.

He began participating in professional races in the 125cc category in 1989, a year later he became Italian champion in the Sport Production category.

The Aprilia of Noale, noticed his great abilities, offering him an engagement that the pilot caught on the fly.

Biaggi moved to 250, winning the European championship in 1991.

In 1992 Biaggi participated in his first entire 250 class world championship in the ex-driver Alex Valesi's Team Iberna Motoracing Aprilia, finishing fifth in the final classification and obtaining his first victory in a Grand Prix (Kyalami in South Africa).

The following year he moved to Honda, obtaining a 4th place in the world championship.

The real turning point came in 1994 with his return to Aprilia, starting the streak of 4 consecutive successes in the 250 class.

Despite a debut as a true champion, a series of useful results, his first vintage in 500, in 1998, proved worse than the big premise.

Suzuka won the first stage of the world championship, confirming the pole and making the fastest lap.

The pivotal event of the championship was in Barcelona on 20 September.

The commissioners of the race brought out the yellow flags (no overtaking), ignored by Biagi to Barros in the fight for the first place.

The drivers were subjected to the stop and go penalty (ten seconds of pit stop), again ignored by Biagi who was then disqualified.

With this black flag suffered, Biaggi establishes the unflattering record of career disqualifications in the World Championship.

At the end of the season Biaggi will close in second place in the world rankings, behind Doohan with 52 points behind; third Alex Criville 10 points behind the Roman.

In 1999 Biaggi decided to close delicate relationships with Honda to join the less competitive Yamaha team.

The only seasonal victory will come in South Africa and Biaggi will conclude the season, marked in the first few races by the injury of Doohan which forces him to retire, in fourth position behind Alex Criville, Kenny Roberts Jr and Tadayuki Okada.

In 2000 he retired again with Yamaha four times in the first five races.

In the second part of the season he will be able to conquer several podiums and also two successes, in the Czech Republic and Australia, placing himself at the end of the season in third position behind Kenny Roberts Jr and debutant Valentino Rossi.

2001 is certainly one of the most compelling seasons, since the first race in Japan, where the Biaggi-Rossi rivalry comes on, for an elbow of the Roman who made the Pesaro rider go off the track; immediately afterwards, Rossi's response with overtaking while showing the middle finger to the opponent.

The season will end with Biaggi in second place behind Rossi, 106 points behind.

At the end of this season, the 500 class was replaced by MotoGP, with 4-stroke motorcycles with a displacement of 990 cm³.

Convinced that Yamaha was not competitive, in 2003 Biaggi returned to Honda in a satellite team, which did not enjoy all the technical updates made to the motorbikes of the parent company, ending the season in third position with 228 points scored.

In 2005 he switched to the Repsol HRC team and was able to compete with an "official" Honda motorcycle, but he played his worst season in MotoGP, since he could not win any race, he managed to conquer only 4 podiums, including the one at Mugello after a fight with rival Valentino Rossi.

Following his statements about the disappointing season, Honda HRC executives decided not to entrust him with an official bike for 2006, forbidding the Sito Pons team, with which Biaggi already had a pre-contract, to include Biaggi in the team itself.

This decision triggered the retaliation of Camel, the team's main sponsor, who, due to Biaggi's lack of confirmation, decided to break the sponsorship contract with Honda.

After a sabbatical, on 15 September 2006 his engagement with Suzuki was announced to participate in the 2007 Superbike World Championship, riding a GSX-R 1000 K7 of the Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra Team which, despite being a private facility, he had been the reference team of the Japanese house for the category for years.

Biaggi concludes an excellent debut season in third position, with 397 points obtained.

2008 vintage, the season is on the whole worse than the previous one: Biaggi fails to impose himself on any track, but still collects 7 podiums (3 seconds and 4 third places) and closes the 2008 championship in seventh place in the general classification, resulting the best among private individuals.

From 2009 to 2012 he returned home, that is to Aprilia, the team that had projected him to his motorcycle career.

He obtained the championship victory in 2010 and 2012, in a daring final to the photo finish.

During the second part of his career, Biaggi had a heated rivalry with the other main Italian driver of the time, Valentino Rossi.

Their relationship, on and off the track, has been the focus of attention for fans and the international specialized press for years, contributing greatly to keeping the popularity of the discipline alive.

In the early days, the Biaggi-Rossi rivalry was characterized by strong clashes, both verbal and during the course of the races, with behaviors that were also rather harsh on the part of the two drivers.

In the last years of their coexistence on the track, however, these disagreements ended up fading more and more, so much so that (after Biaggi's competitive retirement) both left behind the frictions of the past, making themselves the protagonists of a certain relaxation towards the respective rival.