Multiple world champion Max Biaggi has announced his retirement from the motorcycle racing in a press conference at Italian circuit Vallelunga.
After speculation over his future, the 41-year-old has elected to hang up his helmet, resisting the urge to continue in Superbikes or switch to MotoGP.
In typical Biaggi flair, the reigning World Superbike champion spoke passionately at the press call.
“I really wanted this press conference because today is an important moment for Biaggi as a person. He abandons this world as world champion, a man of sport, to make way for a Biaggi that maybe very few people know really well,” he said.
“I chose Vallelunga because everything began here for me. It began by chance many years ago, a sort of magic world for a young guy who had absolutely nothing to do with the world of bikes, but then something sparked off in me and afterwards it became a dream that has taken me a very long way.
“The last 20 years has been part of a very contorted world, full of joy and difficult moments, ups and downs, but what made the real difference was the passion that has pushed me towards always giving my best and my all. This passion for racing has taken me onto some great achievements.”
Biaggi thanked his current team Aprillia for its support over the past four years.
“I have had many companions along the way, but one that truly stands out is Aprilia, with whom together we have written some important chapters in racing history. It was true love!” he said.
“We got together, we left each other, we hitched up again … And for this reason it is right and I am happy that I am retiring as world champion with Aprilia.”
Biaggi started his international career in 250 GP in 1991, and by the end of the following year he had notched up his first race win at Kyalami. He continued to race in 250 class until the end of 1997, taking four successive title wins, and was then in 500/MotoGP from 1998 until 2005, a category in which he won a total of 13 races.
After a year away from the sport, he switched to World Superbike, immediately winning his first race in Qatar in 2007. A further 20 victories, the last one of which at the Nurburgring this year, together with two world championship titles followed in a career that has seen the Italian cement his place as one of the legends of world motorcycle racing.
Biaggi says that while he has called time on his racing career, he won’t be missed from the sport.
“For sure nothing will be the same as before but I am serene because it was a decision I wanted to make, not one I was forced into making,” he said.
“In any case, together with Aprilia, we are discussing about a project in the not too distant future and I hope I will be able to give you some more information soon.”