Max Biaggi's adventure with his new team in Moto3 started out well, with Canet's pole and third place in the opening race in Qatar.
After Aron's first victory in Austin, Texas, now the young Spaniard and the (professionally) young team manager are leading the world championship, along with Masia, bringing back to mind old sensations for Max.
All former riders say that staying in the pit is not like competing but, in some cases, you experience similar emotions.
"Canet's pole remind me of my first Superbike race in Losail."
"I already got the biggest and best surprise in the first GP with Aron and his pole position, gaining more than half a second from the second rider," said Biaggi."That reminded me of 2007, when I was in pole and won my first Superbike race in Qatar on the Suzuki. Those emotions came back to mind. Canet didn't win, but only because the bike didn't perform well against the Hondas."
Biaggi makes excuses for a rider who didn't reach his max. Simply incredible, but there is a reason.
"Canet wants revenge. I know that desire. I've experienced it."
"When I chose Canet, I realized that he wanted revenge, to prove what he's worth," he revealed. "To redeem himself after a mediocre 2018 and without victories. I know that desire very well because I’ve experienced it. Then Canet didn't leave his old team in the best of ways. With me, he found a team that works only for him. That's important for a rider."
This was an obsession for Max in his golden days. And he hasn't changed his mind.
"We met for the first time with Aron in Misano in September of last year," Biaggi explained how the team was created. "I had been following him for some time and, even after our agreement, he wasn't able to reach great results, but I never doubted my choice. Aron was not happy with his team nor with his physical condition because he had hurt his shoulder. I realized he wasn't showing his true potential, and I believed in him."
With everything that his former rival, Valentino Rossi, was doing with his Academy, one of the first criticisms Biaggi received was related to the rider's nationality.
"Moto3 is a training class. I didn't choose an Italian rider, to not steal one from other teams."
"Yeah, I know, this was the first criticism I received. 'Max why didn't you choose an Italian?' The answer is: 'Well, an Italian is welcome on my team, but if the talented riders are already signed up, I'm not going to steal them from other teams. I don't understand certain conflicts in a training category. It's another matter in MotoGP, of course."
Right, because the first problem that the new team will face at the end of the season will be whether to develop with the rider or stay in the cadet class and let him go.
Biaggi's answer reflects the current situation.
"Pass to Moto2? I haven't thought about it, but opportunity makes a thief."
"The first objective is to live this season to its fullest. I like Moto3. I'm not planning on moving into other categories at this time, but I’ve always thought that opportunity makes a thief. Also, the initial idea of this team was not to start with a top rider such as Canet, but we had this opportunity, and I realized that it had to be taken advantage of. Would I bring Canet to Moto2? That's a good question. The plan is Moto3. At the moment, I don't think I'd move up a category."
But Max has already become attached to Aron. He somehow sees himself in him.
"Aron rides over problems. This is an advantage in Moto3. Then he'll mature."
"Canet is very serious. I like him because he's determined. He wants to improve himself and the bike and, like me, he believes a lot in physical training. Then he manages to ride with ease over problems, and that's a good thing in Moto3. Of course, when he moves up in the category, it'll be different, but he'll mature."
Biaggi definitely has the experience to help him. Even if he himself will have to face new problems.
"The team is totally mine, both from a technical and also from a logistical point-of-view," he explained. "All the guys I chose work in it. I made up a team based around Canet. I put four mechanics on five Spaniards because being able to use their own language is important. They are small details, but they make a difference. It doesn't happen often that a rider has a team created for him. Sometimes only in MotoGP."
It's clear that Max is not in the world championship to make up the numbers. After his bad accident in Supermotard two years ago, he left motorcycles and racing behind for a while. Now he's back and confessed an important detail.
"I'm not going to race, but I bought an Aprilia RSV-4 X to ride around the track."
"I bought one of the new Aprilia RSV4 Xs. It'll arrive in a couple of months, and I'm going to ride it on the track. I didn't go back on my word. I'll never get back on the track again to race, but I will to have fun, and I'll do it again. I'm like a football player who has retired but still plays with friends or old glories. I think it's rather normal. Lately, as ambassador for Aprilia, I've participated in this role on several track days. And I had fun."
Could we not have asked him what he felt being in the paddock while his former rival, Valentino Rossi, is still on the track.
His answer was enlightening.
"Rossi should keep racing. He's still good at it."
"I raced until I was 41," he specified. “But until you're still active, you hardly even realize the time that passes. The difference between one year and the next is so short that you don't notice it. Valentino should continue, like I always said. Why should he stop doing something he does well?"