"It's nice to be back on track, today I will also be in the company of Aleix Espargarò, we will do a few laps together with the RSV4 1100." No, it is not Bradley Smith or Lorenzo Savadori talking but none other than Max Biaggi who was the guest of our Live in the company of Paolo Scalera and Marco Caregnato. The Roman Emperor was at Barcelona, where, on the day-after of the Catalunya GP, he was the protagonist of a day of testing on his RSV4 X, a rare model given that only 10 bikes have been produced.
“I haven't ridden at Barcelona for 15 years and doing it today with this bike is really nice. Compared to the RSV4 1100, the X version has a few more horsepower, carbon fibre livery, a lighter tank, racing brakes, a different exhaust and slightly more advanced electronics, the cool thing is that there are only 10 of them and I have the first one that left the factory, number zero, just like the new Tuono X, Aprilia sent it to me, I have it in the garage”.
Max, you’re testing at Barcelona and next to you is the Aprilia MotoGP garage with Aleix Espargarò. At what point is the Noale project in the premier class? The results of this season are certainly not what we had hoped for.
"We have been just outside the top 10 since the beginning of the year and trying to do better is certainly complicated. If something specific were missing it would be easy but I think it is a combination of many things. Nothing can be taken for granted in a class where there is the height of technology and when your opponents are giants like Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki who, in addition to having incredible resources, have development sectors and can also draw on car technology, something that Ducati will also begin to do with Audi too ”.
Biaggi: "I'd like to see Iannone on the bike again. Should he be disqualified, I'd like to have Dovi in Aprilia"
An unknown factor in recent months for Aprilia concerns Andrea Iannone. On October 15, the CAS will issue its ruling regarding his future. What are the options for Aprilia in the event that Andrea is permanently disqualified?
“He is a good guy and I hope he gets back on the bike soon. We can only hope and in Aprilia we are waiting for him with open arms. If he were to be penalized all our plans would be upset and a replacement would have to be found, but when you don't win you have to convince the riders to come to a team and to do so you have to present them with a valid project. Top riders want to have a bike ready to win. Dovizioso could be an option and I would love to see him here, and I would also be happy to see him win the world championship this year, finally after three second places. "
Remaining on the subject of MotoGP, the weekend that just ended saw Valentino Rossi sign a one-year contract with Petronas. How do you see Valentino's future and what advice can you give him for 2022 when he might decide to quit?
Biaggi: "I can't give Rossi any advice on retirement. For young riders, a champion is a target"
"MotoGP is the best there is and a little bit I understand the reasons for his decision to continue. I don't feel like giving him advice, but sportingly speaking, I understand what the others perceive: when you are a champion you become a target for the other riders because even young riders pull out a very late braking move just to say they have overtaken Rossi ”.
Biaggi: "Every season has its difficulties, this year the tyres have to be managed"
What do you think of this MotoGP season? It seems that there is no real master and that these new tyres are messing everything up every race.
"Each season has its difficulties, this year the rear tyre has improved a lot and the times show it. Like all tyres, however, these new Michelins also have their critical issues. Here at Barcelona it was a race of management, this is a complicated track for the tyres especially for the long right-hand corners. Now riding style has also changed a lot with the riders even touching the asphalt with their shoulder. The only two that come close to my style are Morbidelli and Quartararo ”.
Biaggi: "Marquez attempted a legendary return at Jerez"
However, someone seems to be missing in this very strange championship, we are talking about Marquez and also about Jorge Lorenzo who seemed a sort of shadow in the rider market talks. Jorge is a great friend of yours, have you spoken to him in this period?
"First of all, it must be said that Marquez attempted a legendary comeback at Jerez, I appreciated it even if it didn't go well and we will have to wait to see him back on track. As for Jorge, on the other hand, we spoke every week for months, in the period in which it seemed he could return to racing and every time the question was whether he had the desire to return to this life, with all the pros and cons. I believe he was in that phase of his life where he needs to feel the fire inside and to feel that the manufacturers want him. I told him to call me when he was about to sign a contract but it wasn’t any help ”.
On Jonathan Rea: "He is my heir in SBK"
Moving on to Superbike now where Rea could get his hands on his sixth consecutive world title this weekend at Magny-Cours. What do you think of this domination by Johnny?
“Rea is my heir. At Imola in 2012 we exchanged helmets and I wrote to him on the visor that he would be a world champion. If he wins his sixth World Championship he will be the King of SBK. I really like the category but to get back into that paddock I need a fascinating challenge ”.
The Barcelona weekend was also very important for your Moto3 team as after a great victory in Misano with Fenati you entered the top 10 with both riders for the first time this season.
“Yes, we are very satisfied, seeing the two bikes fighting for the win is nice. Lopez finally had a race as protagonist, we had been waiting for him for a long time but he is only 18, while Fenati did the best that he could because he started 15th and finished 6th. We are still happy with the victory in Misano last week ”.
Biaggi: "Fenati might stay, but only if we aim for the title"
Any plans for the future? Could Fenati stay with you?
“Everything will be decided by Aragon2 because that is the IRTA limit. I would like Romano to stay with us but it is only feasible if we start with the goal of doing well right away and aiming to win. If he gets the chance to go to Moto2, I'll understand ”.
Your next challenge is the quest for the world speed record with the Venturi. At what point are you?
“We have already done several tests, obviously not advertised. There is a good working group and they are very far ahead on the electrical front which is making incredible steps forward. They, coming from Formula E, have a team with Massa and Mortara. The electric motor is crazy, it is a bike made to go as fast as possible, it is 2.70 m long and you are one metre high in the saddle, it has crazy torque. We will try for the record in Bolivia at 3400 meters, where the air is thin and therefore it is easier to find the speed. The problem will be the wind because all you need is a few knots and you find yourself floating without grip ”.
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