A difficult 2011 season for Max Biaggi

Monday, 31 October 2011 16:19 GMT
A difficult 2011 season for Max Biaggi
Max Biaggi's 2011 defence of the title he had won the previous year did not go the way the Italian had expected. The factory Aprilia rider, who had to hand over his Superbike crown to Carlos Checa, was however again one of the stars of the season, picking up two wins, nine seconds and a third.

The main difference from the previous season was the number of wins (2 against 10), with the first of the two coming very late on in round 7 at Motorland Aragón, race 2. This lengthy wait went side-by-side with the domination of his Spanish rival, who scored eight wins in the first six rounds of the season, three of them doubles.

Biaggi went close to the win in race 2 at Monza but because he cut the chicane at the Prima Variante at the start of lap 11 and did not follow the right procedure for returning to the track, he was penalized with a ride-through while in the lead. Biaggi eventually finished in eighth place.

The biggest blow for the Italian however undoubtedly came at the Nürburgring at the start of September, when the Roman Emperor fractured the metatarsus bone in his left foot during Saturday qualifying. The injury meant that Biaggi had to miss both the races in Germany and he was unable to take part in the next rounds at Imola and Magny-Cours, which put paid to any chances of him winning the world title again.

His return to the track at Portimão for the final round of the season was never going to be easy, but despite this Biaggi scored a fourth and a seventh place in the two races, after starting from a lowly 17th on the grid. These results helped Biaggi to take third place overall in the standings ahead of Eugene Laverty (who will be his team-mate next season), which he achieved on second-place count-back as both riders finished the season with the same number of points and victories.