Max Biaggi Set To Make World Superbike Comeback
The World Superbike Championship has long been the breeding ground for future world champion motorcycle riders. But as this season has showed us, it’s also become the place where racing legends make their comebacks. We all know that former world champion Troy Bayliss raced for Ducati Corse in Australia and Thailand as a late replacement for the team’s injured rider, Davide Giugliano.
Now, it appears that another former champ is making a comeback of his own after reports indicated that two-time World Superbike champion Max Biaggi has signed on to fill two wild card slots with the Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils team at the Misano and Sepang rounds of the racing series.
Biaggi is no stranger to the World Superbike Championship, having already won the series two times (2010 and 2012). Biaggi’s 2012 title run turned out to be his last as he retired from active competition soon thereafter.
Apparently, the now 43-year-old racer still has that unmistakable racing itch he needs to scratch. He’s all set to do it this season after spending the past two years assisting Aprilia in the development of its MotoGP and WSBK racing bikes.
But numerous reports have said that Biaggi is still in racing form, which is impressive enough on its own considering his advanced age and the length of time he’s been away from active competition.
The only difference is that there are no championships to chase this time. Biaggi will only compete in a couple of races for what’s considered Aprilia’s de facto factory, Red Devils Roma.
Continue reading to read more about Max Biaggi’s return to the World Superbike Championship.
Why it matters
I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little apprehensive about Troy Bayliss’ return to the World Superbike Championship earlier this year. But if we’re in the mood for truth-telling, I can’t tell you how excited I am to see Max Biaggi’s two-race comeback in the WSBK.
I’m a big Max Biaggi fan. There, the cat’s out of the bag. Like most of those who follow the World Superbike Championship, Biaggi’s retirement in 2012 after having just won his second WSBK championship came as a shock to a lot of us. Sure, we heard whispers even before he made his announcement, but he still left at the top of his game and it felt like we were being cheated out of an exciting title defense in the 2013 season.
I’ve since come to accept the fact that Biaggi retired on his own terms and quite frankly, he walked away while he was still on top. Not a lot of athletes get to say that.
Fast forward to 2015 and Biaggi is set to make a return to the World Superbike Championship. It won’t be for the whole season, which wouldn’t have made sense. Instead, Biaggi will only compete in two races for Aprilia’s Red Devils Roma outfit, a similar setup from the one Ducati Corse and Troy Bayliss agreed to earlier this year.
This isn’t going to be one of those times where I’m rooting for Biaggi to win these races. Those days are long gone. What I’m looking for is to see one of my favorite motorcycle racers compete two more times. The results don’t matter for me. Just seeing him out there is more than enough to make up for his two-year absence from the sport.