Max Biaggi profile


By Dan Moakes
March 10 2006

Massimiliano “Max” Biaggi
nationality · Italian
born · 26 June 1971
grand prix début · 1991

Also known as “the Roman Emperor,” Max Biaggi is one of the most successful Grand Prix riders of the last ten years, having won an impressive four consecutive 250cc world titles. He has since added eight 500cc race victories and five more in the 990cc four-stroke class, winning at least one GP every year from 1992 to 2004. Although he has not been crowned champion in the leading GP class, Max has been a consistent threat with both Yamaha and Honda, but is now looking forward to his next challenge

1989
Made racing début

1990
Italian 125cc Sports Production Champion
Riding an Aprilia, Max won six times from seven starts
Also finished third in the Italian 125cc championship race at Vallelunga, riding a Honda

1991
European 250cc Champion; World Championship 250cc début
Riding an Aprilia all season, for Team Italia, Max made his first appearance at World level in the eighth round of fourteen, at Járama in Spain. Finishing twelfth at Mugello and thirteenth at Paul Ricard, he finished the year in 27th position, with seven points

1992 Telkor Valesi Racing, number 29 Aprilia
In his first full season in the 250 World Championship, Max finished third in rounds five and six, second in rounds seven and eleven, and won the final race, at Kyalami in South Africa. He also sat on pole four times, and this effort netted him fifth position overall, on a score of 78 points

Max Biaggi 1993 - photo by Elliot L Doering
photo by Elliot L Doering · e_doering@yahoo.com

1993 Rothmans Kanemoto Honda, number 5 Honda
Now on a Honda, Biaggi achieved top six results in nine races, with podiums at five venues. Three of these came at Spanish tracks, and included a win in Barcelona. Altogether he scored 142 points, and was fourth in the final table

1994 Chesterfield Aprilia, number 4 Aprilia
1994 was the Roman’s proper breakthrough year, as he finished fourth once, third once, second four times, and was the winner five times. This impressive sequence brought the Aprilia rider his first World title, with a twenty point margin despite three no-scores. His final tally was 234

Max Biaggi 1995 - photo by Elliot L Doering
photo by Elliot L Doering · e_doering@yahoo.com

1995 Chesterfield Aprilia, number 1 Aprilia
Max’s position as the leading 250 rider was strengthened in 1995, when his performances included nine pole positions and eight race wins. He was second three times, and ultimately defeated Tetsuya Harada by 63 points, after scoring an amazing 283. Once again he elected to stay on in the 250cc series for the following season

1996 Chesterfield Aprilia, number 1 Aprilia
Again with twelve top four finishes, this time Biaggi was victorious on nine occasions, and a third title was no surpise. With 274 points taking his overall Grand Prix score up to 1018, it was a shock for the Italian when Aprilia decided to sack him

1997 Marlboro Team Kanemoto Honda, number 1 Honda
Max bounced back by rejoining Erv Kanemoto’s team, where he had to sort his new machine in quick order. Despite a number of handicaps, and some off-track incidents, Biaggi put in a late surge to pip Ralf Waldmann to the title by two points. In the process he won five times and stood on five other podiums. With nothing left to prove in 250s, it was time to move up a step

1998 Marlboro Team Kanemoto, number 6 Honda
Staying with the same team, Biaggi was a revelation as he made his 500cc début, winning first time out and becoming a genuine season-long rival to Mick Doohan. A second victory came in the tenth round, and he was on the podium for the eighth time a race later. At this stage, Max was a few points ahead of both Doohan and Àlex Crivillé, but disqualification in the next event, for a yellow flag offence, put paid to his hopes. He wound up second overall, on 208 points

1999 Marlboro Yamaha Team, number 2 Yamaha
His rookie 500 performance earned Max a works ride in 1999, when he switched over to Yamaha. This time his progress was hindered by adapting to his new mount, and one or two falls resulted. After best finishes of two seconds, a third, two fourths and a fifth in the first twelve races, the Roman was back on track with a win and three seconds in the last four rounds. This strong finish lifted him onto 194 points, good enough for fourth in the final table

2000 Marlboro Yamaha Team, number 4 Yamaha
Biaggi was firmly established with Yamaha by 2000, but the championship seemed rather more open this year. Team-mate Carlos Checa started the season with four second places in six events, making him the early challenger to Suzuki’s Kenny Roberts. Max was eighty points down at this stage, but turned his fortunes around by scoring nine top five results in the last ten races. Best of these were wins in the Czech Republic and Australia, and thirds at Valência and Motegi, while Checa’s form was fading. The Italian ended up third overall, behind Roberts and Valentino Rossi, scoring 170 points. He had also recorded five pole positions

2001 Marlboro Yamaha Team, number 3 Yamaha
The 2001 season evolved into a three-way Italian battle, with Biaggi locked in combat against Rossi and Loris Capirossi. A surge from Max across rounds four to nine resulted in three wins, two seconds and a third, keeping him in touch with Rossi on the latest Honda. However, the pressure seemed to get to him after this, and he managed to tumble out on more than one occasion, even with a run of pole positions. Despite a near photo finish with Rossi in Australia, Biaggi was to finish 106 points down at the year’s end, but his 219 kept him ahead of Capirossi’s older Honda for second

2002 Marlboro Yamaha Team, number 3 Yamaha
As the new four-stroke era kicked off, Max found the new YZR-M1 initially lagged behind the Honda RCV, especially in the handling stakes. Development work paid off when the Roman had a run of top four finishes, beginning with the French GP in May, and taking him through to the season’s end. He achieved four poles, finished second in Italy, Britain, Germany and Brazil, and took impressive wins at Brno and Sepang. In the end this was enough to relegate Tohru Ukawa’s works Honda to third position, but left Biaggi trailing serial race winner Rossi

2003 Camel Pramac Pons, number 3 Honda
With Rossi’s 2002 dominance in mind, as well as Marlboro’s switch of support to Ducati, Biaggi opted to join the list of Honda RC211V riders for this season. His front-running experience makes him one of the favourites in a strong and varied field of entrants

Max Biaggi 2004 - photo by www.SportsPics.co.za
photo by www.SportsPics.co.za

2004 Camel Honda, number 3 Honda
Max carried on with the Pramac Pons customer Honda team this year


pqs: qs: