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Max Biaggi Retires as WSB Champ

One of the greatest riders in history announced his retirement earlier today.  After more than 20 years at the World championship level, Max Biaggi leaves the sport of motorcycle roadracing with a total of 6 World championships to his credit, including 4 straight 250 GP championships and 2 WSB championships.

Biaggi’s career saw him battle in the premier 500cc/MotoGP class with the likes of Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi.  Never a premier class champion, Biaggi nevertheless recorded 15 race wins and 3 runner-up positions in the championship, including once to Mick Doohan and twice to Valentino Rossi.  Biaggi switched to WSB in 2007, winning his first race on a Suzuki.

Biaggi would eventually win 2 WSB titles for Aprilia, including 1 in 2010 and his current championship in 2012 . . . securing the latter by a narrow half-point over Tom Sykes (Kawasaki).

Biaggi was known for his incredibly smooth riding style, so much so that he sometimes astounded rookies following him in practice for the first time.  The 41-year-old Biaggi maintained this high level until his final race this year.

Biaggi also became known for his clashes with Italian countryman Valentino Rossi, who knocked Biaggi off his pedestal in the premier class and frequently battled with him – both on the track and off.

He is an interesting personality who will surely be missed and remembered.

16 Comments

  1. Dale says:

    First time I saw Max live I was thrilled (2005 Laguna Seca). I remember watching him coming up on the 250′s, the original “Mad Max”! Something special about him being obvious even back then (like Jorge, Casey, etc…) Stupid fast at the start, crashed all the time, many times from the lead! When he figured out that to finish first, first you must finish, he started raking in World Championships.

    I don’t care if a Racer is “cool” (a happy bonus, no more), I care about the Racing. Mat Mladin was a Great Racer if he didn’t want to have a beer with me or if being his teammate sucked would that make him less of a Great Racer?

    You can keep your personality profiles, the good bikes and the big checks go to the Guys that are the fastest (period). If I was looking for personal melodrama I’d watch a soap opera, the drama of a good Race is all I care about.

    Thanks for the memories Max, best of luck to you and yours going forward.

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  2. Mark Pearson says:

    Racing’s no fun without villains. Biaggi I will miss, unlike Mladin.

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Racing’s no fun without villains.”

      no, racing’s just fine without villians… afterall…? it’s RACING…!!! :) what’s no fun without villians, is those trying to earn a living in the sector of news, media, and sports reporting.

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      • Mark Pearson says:

        No, as with any sport, a good villain livens things up because it represents the eternal battle of good vs. evil. Max excelled in the role because he was so pompous, in a Peppy LePew way. It was fun, and I miss it.

        Mladin was just a jerk. I’m glad he’s gone.

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      • MarkyMark says:

        One of my FAVORITE memories of Max was when he and Rossi were PUSHING & SHOVING one another on the front straight @ Suzuka-all while doing 140mph! Mad Max made the races worth watching… :)

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  3. RK says:

    You did the ‘Prillers proud Max. Thanks for the hard work.

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  4. pat depp says:

    he was a bit a Mat Mladin character,but Mladin was more talented,to bad he was’nt italien, we would have seen him on the world racing scene.

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    • Dave says:

      Matt raced WSBK. He got paid well to dominate AMA SBK and chose to make his career there. He could have done very well in WSBK but arguably not as well with the somewhat more unstable rules that WSBK experienced over his career.

      • Gary says:

        “He could have done very well in WSBK”

        We’ll never know about that, will we? I admire Spies a lot more than Mladin because he had the gumption to give racing a go at the highest levels. Even if he ends up back in the AMA, no one can say that he is strictly a cherry picker.

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  5. Ricardo says:

    One of the best riders today and a true example for the rookies coming on board. Max will always be remembered for his character and his riding skills. It is great that he retires at the top of the hill.

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  6. Patrick D says:

    A divisive figure, but one who has added to racing’s theatrics and sub-plots. I wish him well for his retirement.

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  7. Tod Hancock says:

    It was always good to see Max at Miller Motorsports. Seeing him meant that I was a big time motorcycle race! Who will take his place? He will be missed.

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Who will take his place?”

      and therein lies motorcycling’s $64,000 dollar question…

      A: no one. for all his faults, like marco and vale he is irreplaceable.

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    • Patrick D says:

      Whilst the ‘aliens’ at the top of the premier class have called a ceasefire, there’s plenty of bad blood brewing in the Moto2 class and that’s coming the way of MotoGP this year for a start. Someone’s gotta plant one on marc Marquez sooner or later, as I can’t remember seeing such an erratic rider at world level (and he’s undeniably fast with it). Whilst the racing mightn’t improve greatly any time soon, there’ll be a bit more to the side show.

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  8. Dave says:

    Addio Max, persona l’Eroica.

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  9. drbyers says:

    Class act, unlike a lot of other pro racers out there.

    Never realized he was as old as he was. It’s good to go out on top.

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