Two-time World Superbike champion Max Biaggi showed off little rust in his return to racing, proving once and for all that he still has what it takes to be a contender in the world of the WSBK.

The 43-year old Italian finished sixth in both races at Misano, a result that may not be impressive to some, but is definitely worth writing about if you’ve just gotten off of a two-year retirement with little to no time to get in proper racing shape.

Biaggi did have a couple of practice sessions to get acclimated to his new digs with the Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils team. It certainly didn’t take long for Biaggi to make his presence felt, dominating the first two free practice sessions last Friday before finishing eight and third in the last two sessions.

Biaggi even managed to place fifth in the qualifying session, parlaying that with a strong sixth place finish in both Race 1 and Race 2 of the Misano leg. The Italian even gave us a breathtaking scene in the latter race when he engaged in an incredible scene of one-upmanship with fellow Red Devils rider Jordi Torres.

There’s a lot to be said for Max Biaggi’s reasons behind his return to the World Superbike Championship, even if it’s only for two legs of the series. But what he proved in Misano was nothing short of incredible. For a 43-year old rider who spent the last two years in blissful retirement to return the way he did, it speaks to the incredible talent of this man that apparently hasn’t gone away since he won the 2012 World Superbike championship.

Continue reading to read more about Max Biaggi’s incredible return to the World Superbike Championship.

Why it matters

Based on recent history, retired world champions making a comeback to the World Superbike scene hasn’t gone the way we thought it would. Ok, that’s mainly a retort on 46-year old Troy Bayliss’ return to the series in March 2015.

But as Max Biaggi proved, retired former world champions can still make an impact in the series. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t really expecting much out of him. Maybe it’s because my expectations were modestly set after watching Bayliss earlier this year or maybe it’s because I didn’t think Biaggi had the tools to really compete in the race.

Well, I was wrong and both accounts because the two-time WSBK world champion not only showed that he could still compete with these young whippersnappers, but more importantly, he also proved that he could still squeeze every last ounce of performance from his racing bike.

That was always his trademark during his peak years in the sport, and even at the age of 43, he was still as good as he was during his championship runs in 2010 and 2012.

Biaggi will now head to Sepang where he will race for the second time with the Aprilia Racing - Red Devils team. Seeing as how he proved me wrong at Misano, I’m not going to make the same mistake of doubting him again.

Max Biaggi for the win, everybody!

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