Max Biaggi: I'm leaving as number 1
"Everything began here, and everything will end here." With those words, Max Biaggi announced his retirement from motorcycle racing, during a press conference at the Vallelunga circuit. The decision comes just weeks after the Italian rider won his sixth career world championship, and second in WSBK.
"Last night was one of the longest of my life - Biaggi told the gathered journalists - but I'm happy to be leaving now; I don't want to be like a politician that hold onto their seat for too long." And despite his exit from racing, Max will not wander too far from the two-wheeled world: "I'm thinking about a collaboration with Aprilia, but it won't be tied to racing. You will have news about that soon. It's nice to leave as the number 1, and to have written some important pages in the motorcycle racing history books. Would I have liked to race against Valentino one more time? For now I'm only thinking about the charity race for the Simoncelli Foundation (a Supermotard race in Latina, Italy, on December 2nd, ed.)."
Biaggi was quite emotional as he discussed the decision making process: "The choice was between stopping, or racing for another one or two years. In the end I decided to walk away, and my family was an important factor. The time has come to dedicate my time to them. I don't want this to be a sad day; I'm not stopping because I'm no longer competitive, but because I want to stop. I had a contract ready to sign, so it was a difficult decision, but not a forced one. Many riders have suffered serious injuries during their careers, and I'm lucky to walk away healthy. I have no regrets, and my thanks go to everyone who has accompanied me on this twenty year adventure."
The Emperor was also happy to recount some highlights from his career: "Being dropped by Honda MotoGP in 2005, and then managing to win two WSBK championships was the best response I could have given them. However it's difficult to look back over my career today, as I'm realizing that another phase of my life is just beginning."
Translation by Sean Sedacca