The Roman Emperor
Max Biaggi, born in Rome, Italy, began his racing career in 1989 at age 18 in the 125 cc class. A year later, he was the Italian champion in the "Sport Production" category.
Max quickly made a name for himself thanks to his effective, clean riding style and has proved his talent again and again each time he moved up to the next class. In 1991, he raced in the 250 world championship. His streak of successes in this class in unparalleled in the history of MotoGP: most pole positions, most podium positions in the category and as many as 4 world titles won (three aboard an Aprilia) consecutively from 1994 to 1997.
In 1998, he debuted in the 500 class with Honda. Max made a stunning debut at Suzuka, with pole position, victory and fastest race lap, doubling the achievement of the Finn Jarno Saarinen 25 years earlier. Max was to finish the season in second place.
In 1999, Biaggi signed with Yamaha and started climbing the standings at an impressive pace: he finished fourth the first year, moved up one place in 2000 – finishing third – and again in 2001, when he conquered the second place. The 2002 season had the same ending, and went down in history as the birth year of MotoGP, with changes to the regulations of the premier class.
In 2003, Biaggi and Yamaha parted and Max joined Honda on the Sito Pons private team, finishing third in the 2004 championship. In 2005, he joined the Repsol HRC team riding a factory Honda in what was the worst MotoGP season in his career, and finished fifth overall.
In 2007, Max raced in the Superbike championship aboard a Suzuki. Once again, he made an extraordinary debut in Qatar, winning Race 1 and finishing second in Race 2. Throughout the season, he battled for the title with Toseland and Haga. Biaggi closed in on his opponents in the second last round in Vallelunga, but Toseland secured the title in France with as little as 2 points to Haga and eight to Max.
In 2008, Max joined the Ducati Sterilgarda private team: he conquered the podium in the first round in Qatar, with a second and a third place. In the following race in Australia, an accident marred his season and ended his battle for the title, but he was able to take several podiums finishing second at Misano and Vallelunga, and third at Brno, Brands Hatch and Donington. He finished seventh as the best privateer. In 2009, Max Biaggi rejoined Aprilia to ride the new RSV4, the futuristic four-cylinder bike with which the Italian marque returned to the SBK Championship.
Ever since the first race, Biaggi showed his usual grit and displayed his champion’s talent on several occasions. A victory at Brno topped with the track record, 7 podiums, six first-row starts and the all-time record speed reached by a Superbike during a race (329 km/h) at Monza are the stunning figures of the extraordinary debut season of the Biaggi-Aprilia combination.