Two-time and current World Superbike Champion and four-time 250cc World Champion Max Biaggi announced his retirement from racing today, the Italian doing so at a packed press conference at the Vallelunga Circuit near his home town of Rome, Italy.
“Everything began by chance for me here at Vallelunga,” the 41-year-old Biaggi said at the press conference. “I was a young guy who had nothing to do with the world of motorbikes, but something sparked in me and what followed has been a kind of dream that has taken me a very long way.
“It’s my choice to retire now. I’m not injured and had a new contract offer from Aprilia – same bike, same money – but I think I’ve taken enough time from my children and my wife. It’s the right time to stop.”
Biaggi’s first season of Grand Prix racing was in 1992 and he won his first 250cc title in 1994. Twenty years after that first GP season, Biaggi will call it quits having won four 250cc titles and two World Superbike crowns, including this year’s second superbike title on the factory Aprilia.
Biaggi won 29 races in the 250ccc class before moving up to the 500cc/MotoGP class. He won 15 races in the 500cc/MotoGP class, but never won a title in the premiere class. He finished second three times – once to Mick Doohan and twice to his rival Valentino Rossi.
Biaggi sat out the 2006 season and made the switch to World Superbikes in 2007, riding an Alstare Suzuki.
The Italian will also be known as the only rider to ever win in his 500cc GP debut, the “Roman Emperor” doing so at Suzuka in 1998. He also won his World Superbike debut at Qatar in 2007.