#MaxIsBack: Two-time World Champion makes dramatic racing comeback.
After months of speculation and rumour, the news is official: Max Biaggi is to return to action in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship.
On 7 November 2012, Biaggi – fresh from picking up his second world crown following his 2010 success – announced his retirement from the racing world in a specially organised occasion at Vallelunga.
‘The Roman Emperor’ will take part in two rounds of this year’s World Championship season, first at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the upcoming race weekend of 19-21 June and then at the Sepang International Circuit at the start of August. Racing in Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils colours, Biaggi will race as team-mate to Leon Haslam and Jordi Torres.
Over his six seasons of WorldSBK from 2007, he collected a total of 21 race victories, 70 podium finishes, five pole positions and 18 fastest laps. In total, the Italian amassed no less than 2,066 World Championship points.
Since he hung up his crash helmet, Biaggi has been working as a test rider as well as a television commentator for Italian broadcaster Mediaset.
Prior to his World Superbike days, he won four consecutive titles in 250cc Grand Prix racing between 1994 and 1997. He went on to finish runner-up in the 500cc class in 1998 and 2001 and well as in MotoGP in 2002.
Excluding the very first World Superbike race in 1988, the start of 2007 saw Biaggi become only the fourth rider to clinch victory in the opening race of his career, riding the Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K7 for Team Alstare; on that occasion, he fought off the attentions of James Toseland (Honda) and Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati). Biaggi remains the most recent rider to have won the first race he entered the World Superbike class.
Remaining in the title fight until the last race meeting, ending 2007 third overall, Biaggi then suffered a difficult 2008 on a satellite Ducati. His first of four seasons with Aprilia came in 2009; it was with the Noale marque with which he re-wrote the history books, becoming the first and so far only Italian to seal the title.
Biaggi becomes the second former World Champion to make a return to World Superbike this year, after Troy Bayliss rode for Ducati in Australia and Thailand.
Support Max Biaggi’s return to racing with social media hashtag #MaxIsBack !