Aprilia Racing and Max Biaggi sealed the contract which ties the 2010 World Superbike Champion to the name which has seen him triumph from his début in the 250 Moto GP class.
Thanks to this agreement, which is valid for two years, Max Biaggi and Aprilia will be able to team up together to defend the Rider and Manufacturer titles earned this year. In fact, 2010 was an extraordinary year in sport for the Biaggi-Aprilia duo in World SBK: ten victories, four double wins and another four podiums led the five time champion to take the rider world championship (the first Italian in motorcycling history) and Aprilia to its first triumph in the WSBK Manufacturer standings.
With confirmation of the Biaggi-Aprilia association, one of the most victorious pairs in sports history is renewed: Max boasts five world championships in a record time frame, considering the fact that sixteen years have passed since his first 250 world championship and this year’s SBK title. Aprilia boasts a collection of 45 world titles and, with 277 victories in GP, it is the most victorious name in the history of Moto GP.
“I’m obviously very happy to be continuing this winning adventure in World SBK with Aprilia” stated Max Biaggi. “After an exciting but tiring season, after many years of racing and many victories, it was only natural and right to stop and think, to reflect on such an important future commitment. And in my considerations a very decisive factor was, as it was at the beginning of this adventure with Aprilia, the fact that I feel so close to a team and a company which is so capable and so focussed on the sports objective. Now we need to prepare as best as we can for next season. We are well aware that we cannot rest on our laurels and that we will be in all of our rivals’ sights. But now I am also sure that we will be highly motivated at the start of the first race, with a bike which I have brought up and which I did not want to abandon, ready to die hard… extremely hard”.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) continued along the rich seam of form he has been displaying for the past two rounds by taking his fourth double win of the year, the Italian utterly dominating raceday at Misano and moving further ahead in the championship standings. In front of 69,000 fans Max was eventually imperious after some early flurries of overtaking activity, but Superpole winner Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) was a co-star in race one, leading for 16 laps before yielding to Max, then finishing third. Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) fought back from eighth in race one to go second in race two, and keep Biaggi in his sights for the final five rounds of the year. In the overall championship Biaggi has 307 points, Haslam 270 and Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) 172.
Biaggi took his seventh win of the season in race 1, finally overtaking long time leader Corser and then proving able to hold off Checa’s Ducati in the final laps. Checa was second, Corser third, the top three veteran riders covered by only 0.822 seconds at the flag. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) was fourth, Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare) fifth. Leon Camier, on the second Aprilia RSV4, was an eventually lonely sixth. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) ended race one seventh after working hard at Misano; Haslam a disappointed eighth, having some technical set-up issues that held back his possible charge. Shane Byrne (Althea Ducati) and James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) were ninth and tenth respectively.
Max Biaggi: “I’m obviously happy with this victory. Especially because I didn’t expect it and because doing so well in Italy, in front of our supporters has a very special flavour for us. The conditions are difficult because of the lack of grip. Already after five or six laps I started to “drift”. After overtaking Troy I tried to push as hard as possible because I saw that the times were still high, but I couldn’t shake him or Checa because the risk for mistakes was too high.”
Carlos Checa: “I felt we had a good chance here, we’ve been working very hard. Tyres with hotter temperatures mean that the race is not the same for all the riders, but we stayed quicker throughout the race and it was a very close battle with Max at the end, but not close enough and I had to settle for second.” Troy Corser: “I got another good start and dropped back inside Max to get the lead. The track was really slippery compared to this morning, so it took a few laps to get a feel for the tyre and get a good rhythm. I made a mistake and Max came past, I tried a bit too hard and that was about it for me. It was positive all the same because we managed to stay in front for a good while.”
2010 Misano Race 1 Results
1. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 24 laps 2. Carlos Checa ESP Althea Ducati 1198 +0.387s 3. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR +0.822s 4. Michel Fabrizio ITA Ducati Xerox 1198 +4.911s 5. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 +5.916s 6. Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +8.658s 7. Noriyuki Haga JPN Ducati Xerox 1198 +11.872s 8. Leon Haslam GBR Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 +11.907s 9. Shane Byrne GBR Althea Ducati 1198 +16.490s 10. James Toseland GBR Yamaha Sterilgarda YZF R1 +18.458s 11. Luca Scassa ITA Team Supersonic Ducati 1198 +18.646s 12. Lorenzo Lanzi ITA DFX Ducati 1198 +19.315s 13. Jonathan Rea GBR Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR +25.405s 14. Max Neukirchner GER Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR +31.671s 15. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki SRT ZX-10R +39.658s 16. Chris Vermeulen AUS Kawasaki SRT ZX-10R +48.137s 17. Roger Lee Hayden USA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +56.316s 18. Federico Sandi ITA Gabrielli Aprilia RSV-4 +56.667s 19. Matteo Baiocco ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +57.218s
Race 1 Highlights
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) was in unbeatable form in race 2, surviving some hard early passing moves by his main rivals to get clear of the pack and push on to win, easing up across the line, by 4.095 seconds. This was double number four for the season. Haslam was a committed second after changing his machine and rear tyre as he attempted to halt Biaggi’s championship surge. Fabrizio returned to some of his best form by going third, holding off the determined Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda). Checa was fifth after being ambushed in the early laps, Guintoli sixth and Byrne seventh. Luca Scassa was an impressive eighth for the local Supersonic Ducati Team, with Haga ninth and early leader Corser tenth after losing ten seconds in one lap.
Max Biaggi: “In such a tough and well balanced championship, all of the victories are earned with hard work and sweat. In race 2, to be honest, maybe I rode… pushing the envelope a bit, maybe even risking too much. But on the other hand, without risk there is no gain! This race represents a crucial moment for us and for our season we are coming out with our heads held high. As always I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart: from the guys on the team to our supporters. Victories like this never happen by chance and these ones in particular are well deserved by a large family which works together toward a common goal”
Leon Haslam: “We have had a tough weekend and after the first race eighth was the best we could have done because we had a few issues. The team came up trumps for me in race two and we finished in second place behind Max in race two. Second is never good for me behind Max as he is the championship leader but today we will take it.”
Michel Fabrizio: “In the second race we didn’t win but we got on the podium, which is a good result. It wasn’t easy and once Max passed me, I had no chance of counterattacking him, and I had to do everything possible to hold onto third place with Crutchlow behind me. I’d like to dedicate the podium to my team because every week my engineers are working hard and continuing to believe in me”.
2010 Misano SBK Race 2 Results
Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 24 laps 2. Leon Haslam GBR Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 +4.095s 3. Michel Fabrizio ITA Ducati Xerox 1198 +4.631s 4. Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha Sterilgarda YZF R1 +5.014s 5. Carlos Checa ESP Althea Ducati 1198 +6.256s 6. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 +7.677s 7. Shane Byrne GBR Althea Ducati 1198 +10.144s 8. Luca Scassa ITA Team Supersonic Ducati 1198 +10.942s 9. Noriyuki Haga JPN Ducati Xerox 1198 +13.640s 10. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR +16.279s 11. Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +17.799s 12. Jonathan Rea GBR Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR +22.793s 13. Lorenzo Lanzi ITA DFX Ducati 1198 +24.131s 14. Max Neukirchner GER Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR +28.212s 15. Chris Vermeulen AUS Kawasaki SRT ZX-10R +36.551s 16. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki SRT ZX-10R +49.636s 17. Broc Parkes AUS Echo-CRS Honda CBR1000RR +50.041s 18. Roger Lee Hayden USA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +51.246s 19. Matteo Baiocco ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +58.174s 20. Federico Sandi ITA Gabrielli Aprilia RSV-4 +1min 10.688s
Max Biaggi kept his name at the top of the timesheets at the end of the first day of a two day test in Misano. The WSB championship leader set his fastest lap in the morning and when rain fell during the early afternoon elected to sit it out, but unlike his rivals elected not to ride at the end of the day when the track dried.
Yamaha man Cal Crutchlow was one of only three riders who managed to go faster in the final hour of track time. Despite less grip due to the earlier rain, Crutchlow rode hard to set a 1.36.7 second best despite having problems with a new engine braking map, which proved to be inconsistent.
Leon Haslam was the other improver onboard his Alstare Suzuki. Haslam had new forks and a revised spec engine to try and while he made progress admitted that he was in and out of the pits too much to get into a proper rhythm.
Leon Camier continued to build up his pace onboard his factory Aprilia and spent the majority of the day lapping on old tyres, but was still able to reduce his best lap by 1/10th in the final hour of the day.
Testing will resume tomorrow at 9am local time and the forecast is for dry, hot conditions. Unofficial day one lap times
Max Biaggi – 1.36.4 Cal Crutchlow – 1.36.7 James Toseland – 1.36.7 Sylvan Guintoli – 1.36.7 Leon Haslam – 1.36.9 Leon Camier – 1.37.1 Troy Corser – 1.37.1
An outstanding weekend of action at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, played out in front of 115,000 people, culminated in a remarkable double win for Max Biaggi and his Aprilia Alitalia team, and pulled Max up to within three points of championship leader Leon Haslam (Alstare Suzuki). Biaggi made some radical changes to his rear suspension after his race one win and eventually ran out the clear winner of race two. This was Max’s second double of the year, the first coming in Portimao. Race One Biaggi scored the race one win with a well-judged front running ride, albeit with several riders for company through all 18 laps. He kept his pace and consistency on his vee four machine to lead Yamaha Sterilgarda duo James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow across the line, finishing 0.247 seconds ahead of Toseland. Leon Haslam was only 0.958 seconds behind Biaggi, in fourth, with Leon Camier, Biaggi’s team-mate, fifth. Ruben Xaus (BMW) was sixth, Michel Fabrizio seventh for Ducati Xerox. Troy Corser went eighth and Tom Sykes ninth on his Kawasaki Racing Team machine. Max Biaggi: “That was a special result, because it is special to win at Monza and because this is a special track with a very high top speed. We worked very hard for this race weekend so it was a perfect performance by all the team. The Yamaha guys running together means they could be quicker than me in the final lap but we held it together and took our first win here at Monza.” James Toseland: “Another second place, it’s a bit frustrating, but it was a good strong race. I want to congratulate the team for getting two bikes on the podium. Congratulations to Max, he didn’t put a foot wrong. On that last lap I was hoping he was going to make a slight mistake to allow me to get alongside but he didn’t. They were strong round here, but we’re getting better all the time, but as I said second and third all the time is a bit frustrating.” Cal Crutchlow: “I felt like I put together a solid race, but we never got the best of starts again, the bike is hard to get off the line, but all credit to Yamaha, we came to their home round and second and third for me and James is a strong result. We knew we would struggle a bit for speed, but to be honest I struggled throughout with gear shifting, I had a leaky engine oil cover. I was struggling to change gear up the box, but I feel I rode well.”
2010 Monza World Superbike Race 1 Results
1 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 31’07.044 (200,504 kph) 2 52 Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 0.247 3 35 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 0.297 4 91 Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 0.958 5 2 Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 4.493 6 111 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 7.343 7 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 7.369 8 11 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 9.344 9 66 Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 15.338 10 50 Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 16.761 11 41 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 16.921 12 76 Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 22.231 13 67 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 22.602 14 7 Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 22.742 15 96 Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 26.266 16 99 Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 26.415 17 57 Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 26.968 18 77 Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 36.964 19 95 Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 51.646 20 23 Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR RET 71 Sakai D. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R1000 RET 65 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR RET 31 Iannuzzo V. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR EX 15 Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R Race Two Biaggi took his second win of the day in fine style after closest challenger Crutchlow suffered an oil leak and crashed. Max’s eventually clear win, by 4.5 seconds from Leon Haslam, was an important one and sends the WSB paddock to Kyalami confident of more close action between this year’s two most consistently fast riders. Haslam now has 181 points to Biaggi’s 178 as he struggled with a sore wrist from a couple of hairy moments in the second race. Third place for Troy Corser was a historic first podium for BMW in WSB racing, in only the second season of full-on competition for the S 1000RR in the production-based series. Corser is now seventh in the championship. Leon Camier was a lonely fourth for Aprilia in race two and an aggressive fifth from Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes rounded out a day of new high points for many riders and teams. James Toseland was taken to hospital to have a CT scan after suffering concussion in a high-speed crash, with Jonathan Rea spraining his ankle and Ruben Xaus escaping the turn one collision without injury. In contrast to Biaggi’s great day some leading lights suffered in the final analysis, with Carlos Checa 14th and 11th in the races, as he ties for fourth place on 110 points with Rea, who did not score today. Toseland is fifth on 106, Haga sixth on 100. Max Biaggi: “This track is very long and it’s very easy to make a little mistake plus when you have your rhythm you stay with it, and it’s difficult to go faster and easier to go slower. Anyway I’m happy with the result, it was a close race. I’m happy for me and my team. It’s an unbelievable result, it looks like we are achieving our goal. Here there is also the President of our group and it’s been a great weekend for everyone.” Leon Haslam: “We had a few big moments in that race and I’m nursing my wrist because one of them sent me off the back of the bike when I was with Max and Cal at the time. This weekend’s been tough, we’ve been a little bit down on speed, which is unlike the Suzuki, but the boys have worked fantastic. To get on the podium here in Monza is always special so I’m really happy for that. The battle for the title is definitely closing in, we knew Max was going to be strong here, but hopefully we can get back to our winning ways because each race is getting tougher and tougher.” Troy Corser: “I’m so happy, the team has put a lot of hard work into the project not just this year but last year and sometimes it’s been difficult and frustrating. But this weekend we’ve worked really hard and have been progressively getting better and better, just struggling a bit with braking, but we made a change for the second race and it made the bike easier to stop. We had the speed, our bike was as fast as anything out there, and it just took me a few laps to get used to the brakes in the second race. Thanks to all the boys at BMW, it’s been a long time coming, let’s hope it’s not going to be the last one!”
2010 Monza World Superbike Race 2 Results
1 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 31’07.122 (200,496 kph) 2 91 Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 4.547 3 11 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 5.469 4 2 Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 10.267 5 66 Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 15.561 6 41 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 15.816 7 50 Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 15.861 8 96 Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 20.977 9 67 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 21.920 10 99 Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 21.974 11 7 Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 27.152 12 76 Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 29.315 13 77 Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 30.858 14 95 Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 47.160 15 23 Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 48.824 RET 35 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 RET 15 Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R RET 57 Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R RET 31 Iannuzzo V. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR RET 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R RET 52 Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 RET 111 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR RET 65 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR
Max Biaggi put in a fantastic run in the first Superbike Free Practice session on his Aprilia Alitalia RSV4 machine to break the category’s all-time top-speed record.
The Roman clocked a new mark of 326.9 km/h on the 1 km long Monza pit straight as he notched up the sixth quickest time.
All the World Superbike teams knew that the Aprilia’s would be a threat in Monza but I am sure they didn’t expect this type of speed. This could be a real game changer come race time when the battle is close. If Biaggi can stay in touch with the leaders during the race we will definitely see a lot of draft passing going on.
Let’s see if the Aprilia can tweak their setup a little more in time for Superpole to get them on the front row of the gird. Stay tuned.