2012 World Superbike Championship
The Italian Max Biaggi will be returning home this weekend for round 2 of 14 in the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Imola.
But he will not only head to Imola a fan favorite; he will head there with the overall points lead. The Aprilia Racing Team RSV4 rider took the race-1 win at the season-opener at Phillip Island last month, and second in race 2, earning him 45 points. Biaggi leads by 15 points over his fellow countryman, Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad).
Biaggi, who clinched the 2010 World Superbike Championship at Imola in 2010, has never won at Imola, but is confident in his machine and team heading to the 4.9-mile circuit, which is the one of three rounds at Imola (Monza, May 6; Misano, June 10).
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing RSV4 Superbike) says: “We have a long road ahead of us. We can’t let ourselves be deceived by what we demonstrated at Phillip Island. Every race makes its own history. Imola isn’t our favourite track. We’ll see how much the resurfacing does to change things. I’m in perfect shape and so is the team: if there is battle to be done we will certainly not be retreating. The two days of testing at Aragon confirmed the progress our rivals have made. This is shaping up to be a championship with quite a few contenders for the title. We aren’t frightened by the challenge, to the contrary, it’s what we need to keep us vigilant and 100% committed race after race. A lot of our fans will be at Imola and that is just more motivation to do well”.
Eugene Laverty’s situation is much different in the Aprilia Racing Team paddock. After excellent results in the pre-season tests, an injury to his hand kept the Northern Irish rider from showing his true potential at Phillip Island. Eugene’s physical conditions are improving constantly and his goal for the Imola races is to get on the podium.
Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing RSV4 Superbike) says: “Imola is the most physically demanding circuit on the calendar, so I’m pleased that I’m nearly back to full fitness. I’ve twice finished on the podium at Imola in the World Supersport Championship but it’s one of the few circuits where I haven’t won at so I’d love to challenge for the victory this time around.
“It’s a long season though so the most important thing for me at this stage is to build up some momentum after such a tough start to the season. We enjoyed a two day test at Aragon recently where I had the chance to get more comfortable on the Aprilia so hopefully that will be evident at Imola.”
The Aprilia Racing Team will be on track Friday for the first practice/qualifying sessions of Imola Superbike, followed by Superpole Saturday and two races Sunday.