Max Biaggi: 2010 Superbike Champion

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Biaggi SBK Champion

Max Biaggi is the 2010 World Superbike Champion and he has done it racing on the Aprilia RSV4 in just it’s second year in production. This is the Italian motorcycle rider’s fifth world championship and the first SBK title for an Italian rider.

Aprilia is also very close to securing the 2010 World Superbike Manufacturer Title in the next and final WSBK races at Magny-Cours in France.

This all happened at home in Italy at Imola on Sept. 26, 2010. Max Biaggi became World SBK Champion at the end of a difficult and exciting motorcycle racing weekend on the Imola track.

Thanks to the fifth place earned in race 2, Biaggi brought the point gap to 63 points between him and Leon Haslam (Suzuki), who was the last rider in contention for the title (413 to 350). A gap impossible to fill with only the French round at Magny Cours to go until the end of the season.

Max Biaggi – with his fifth motorcycle racing title after four consecutive world championships, from 1994 to 1997 in the 250cc GP class – is the first ever Italian World Superbike Champion.

In fact, in the 22-year history of the series only one non-native English speaking rider has held the title. That was Frenchman Raymond Roche in 1990.

Since its inception in 1988, the WSBK Championship-with the exception of Roche’s aforementioned win-has been won by a host of Australian, British, and American riders.

Over the years America has brought the title home nine times (most recently with Ben Spies’ sensational rookie season in 2009). The Brits have enjoyed seven title trophies. The Aussies have earned it five times. And the French once.

In the manufacturer standings Aprilia (433 points) is 41 points ahead of Ducati (392). Nine points will be enough for the Veneto-based team to take the manufacturer championship.

Over the last 22-years, Ducati, who is ironically exiting the SBK series next year, has who the WSBK Manufacture’s Title 15-times, Honda four-times with the last coming in 1997, Suzuki once back in 2005 and Yamaha only once in 2009.

Aprilia, with just two years in the racing series, has pulled even with both Yamaha and Suzuki while surpassing Kawasaki who has yet to win.

But Imola was not the site of a simple race day: delayed at the start of race 1, Biaggi had to settle for a placement (11th). Race 2 was an entirely different story. Abandoning any use of tactics, Max forced his Aprilia RSV4 into the front positions, battling for the podium right from the first turn.

The fifth place he ended up with handed Max the championship title a round early and evoked an explosion of rejoicing from the thousands of fans who had come out to the circuit to cheer on the most famous Corsair in world motorcycle racing.

Max Biaggi says: “This is a grand day, a day that I have greatly desired. I’ve often felt in past years like I hadn’t been placed in the proper conditions to be able to express my worth and to achieve the results that I know I deserve.”

“This is one of the reasons that, at a certain point in my career, I chose this world, the SBK championship, and this is why I wanted to surround myself with the right people for this adventure – because racing isn’t just about speed, tyres and an engine.”

“It is also about joy and having fun and with these guys, with this team, I feel at home. I want to thank everyone: my team, Aprilia, Piaggio Group, the chairman. It has not been an easy season. Many riders have won races and if they had been just a bit more consistent, they would have been able to be more troublesome for us.”

“The greatest moments were the double victories at Monza and Misano. It is something very special to win in front of my fans. But it isn’t over yet – there is still one goal left – to ride my RSV4 to the manufacturer title. We’ll talk again in a week and it would be truly fantastic to close out this wonderful season with another championship,” commented an exhausted but happy Biaggi in the end.

Roberto Colaninno (CEO of the Piaggio Group – Aprilia Owners) says: “Today we achieved an extraordinary result which takes place in the second year of Aprilia’s participation in World Superbike and, once again, confirms the technical excellence of the Noale Racing Division as well as the Piaggio Group in the two-wheel worldwide scene.”

“It would be impossible to imagine anything better on a day like today. We won the World Superbike Championship on an Italian track, with an Italian bike, an Italian rider and a sponsor – Alitalia – which takes Italy all over the world. This has never before happened in Superbike history and this makes all of us that much more proud,” as he was in the World SBK pits to experience the triumph of his team and rider.

Imola Superbike Race 1

1. 7 Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38’27.631 (161,708 kph)
2. 57 Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1.171
3. 41 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1.472
4. 96 Smrz J. (CZE) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 6.691
5. 91 Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 9.584
6. 66 Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 10.979
7. 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 15.023
8. 67 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 15.913
9. 50 Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 17.025
10. 35 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 20.795
11. 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 21.243
12. 111 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 25.860
13. 99 Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 31.551
14. 76 Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 31.689
15. 11 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 44.349
16. 90 Sandi F. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 58.693
17. 5 Lowry I. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’10.388
18. 15 Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’13.648
19. 33 Lai F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’15.939
RET. 52 Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1
RET. 95 Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R

Imola Superbike Race 2

1. 7 Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38’24.452 (161,931 kph)
2. 41 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 2.129
3. 35 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 3.926
4. 66 Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 5.762
5. 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 7.025
6. 67 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 12.147
7. 57 Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 14.212
8. 50 Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 18.029
9. 111 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 18.249
10. 99 Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 19.446
11. 11 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 23.674
12. 76 Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 34.804
13. 90 Sandi F. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 53.540
14. 33 Lai F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’03.102
15. 15 Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’07.185
16. 5 Lowry I. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’08.926
RET. 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R
RET. 91 Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000
RET. 96 Smrz J. (CZE) Aprilia RSV4 Factory
RET. 95 Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R
RET. 52 Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1