WSBK – Biaggi joins Aprilia for two years –

Biaggi joins Aprilia for two years

WSBK - Biaggi joins Aprilia for two years -

For the past two weeks, we have been waiting for the confirmation of the signing of Max Biaggi at Aprilia in 2009. In Vallelunga, the Noale factory officially presented its new RSV4 and announced its participation in the SBK 2009 world with Biaggi.

Aprilia brought three world titles to Max Biaggi in the 250 – and vice versa! -, but it has been twelve years since Biaggi no longer worked with the Italian brand. This marriage therefore strongly resembles a new honeymoon for the Roman Emperor, who without this opportunity was heading inexorably towards a final retirement. ""Without Aprilia’s offer, it was retirement !", moreover clearly declared to the Gazzetta dello Sport the 37-year-old Italian driver, domiciled in Monaco.

Haga has indeed been preferred to him at Ducati to replace Bayliss and the manufacturers are less and less numerous to jostle to work with the ex-star of the GP. "I was contacted by BMW as well as by Francis Batta for Suzuki", Max again told the Italian press".

So why did Biaggi fall for Aprilia? "Aprilia belongs to the Piaggio group, it is the most important manufacturer in Europe, and I am sure to benefit from excellent technical means to fight in front of next year", explains the Emperor.

And while Biaggi’s contract would be around 1.5 million euros – which is exceptionally high in Superbike – money is supposedly not the main motivation for the Italian rider. In fact, this contract suits everyone: Biaggi, who signed for two years with Aprilia, is certain to be the number one rider again within an official team, a position that his ego particularly likes. And Aprilia, which needs major repercussions in terms of communication to relaunch itself in the niche of large-engine sports cars, finds with Biaggi an ideal vector of communication on the Italian market where it still has many admirers..

"Who can move 7,000 spectators in a simple private practice session, as I did a year ago in Vallelunga ?", asked Max Biaggi recently in the Gazzetta dello Sport. Finally, the rider can count on the unwavering support of FGSport, the promoter of the Superbike: as long as the Biaggi product is for sale, FGSport is certain to benefit from lucrative TV contracts in Italy and to ensure a large impact in terms of audience. . An essential windfall for the promoter, who is currently facing the departure of many sponsors or the reduction of their investments, as is the case for Hannspree, main sponsor of the championship. Should we say thank you Mr. Biaggi ?

Anyway, given the performances made by the various testers of the bike (Alex Hoffman, Alex Debon, Roberto Rolfo), the RSV4 seems to aim very high from the start. If these performances – unofficial – remain at confirm at the time of the first official tests which will take place in December on the Kyalami circuit in South Africa, we can already say that Max Biaggi will be one of the favorites for the succession of Bayliss in 2009 for the SBK world title : a perfect scenario for FGSport, which still dreams of an Italian champion on an Italian motorcycle with Italian tires !

The great irony of the story is that everyone thought that Ducati, which has the most beautiful record in the SBK, was the only brand capable of making this sweet transalpine dream come true … Today, Aprilia is on the way to styling Ducati. on the post of Superbike history !

A. LAFFUT – Photos DR

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