Friday, July 31

BIAGGI BACK IN THE FRAY

Max Biaggi is racing at Sepang this weekend in his second 'wild card' appearance for 

Aprilia this year. Pre-race testing was mostly washed out though.
For the second time this season, Aprilia will come into a SWC race weekend with a three-pronged attack with six-time world champion Max Biaggi joining Leon Haslam and Jordi Torres.

Biaggi will be riding for the Noale Test Team, riding his number 3 RSV4 RF alongside Team Aprilia Racing – Red Devils riders.

Haslam wants to take advantage of the Malaysian track's characteristics to get back to the positions he deserves and he is making no bones about wanting to win.  

Meantime the first Superbike podium for rookie Torres, achieved in the last round in the USA, could be the turning point in his season.  The objective is clear: to prove that he is the best rookie in the category.

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager: 
“We are coming to Sepang after the Laguna Seca round which resulted in contrasting results: a difficult weekend for Leon with a decidedly good performance on the other hand for Jordi.  For Aprilia Sepang is a traditionally friendly circuit.  We aim to do well with both our official riders.  They seem to be ready and motivated.  Don't forget that in Malaysia we will also have three bikes on the grid for the second time this year.  Max Biaggi riding again after his magnificent weekend at Misano.  The good results we saw at Misano mustn't make us forget that Max has been out of racing for almost three years."


Leon Haslam: 
“I have been anxiously awaiting the Malaysia round. Laguna Seca was the most difficult weekend of the season for me. I want to get back to winning and I think that the Sepang track is the right place to do it. This is traditionally a good circuit for Aprilia and I'm sure that Max's contribution will also be helpful. Now all that's left is to start working with our best efforts from the first laps and to managing our setup well will also be fundamental given the extreme conditions.”

Jordi Torres: 

“Sepang is a long and very diverse circuit.  Finding a good braking set-up will be essential because there are a lot of braking sections and so will working on grip in the particular temperature and humidity conditions. I like the circuit and the atmosphere of the locals.  I think that Malaysia is really a beautiful country. After Laguna Seca I've raised the bar for myself.  I'm ready to hunker down behind my top fairing on the two long straight stretches!”

After the extraordinary sport and press event at Misano, where Max Biaggi surprised fans and staff by dominating the Friday sessions and riding two outstanding races, on the Malaysian track the Corsair will be taking on a new challenge.  It will be a decidedly demanding one, given the equatorial weather conditions combined with his less than perfect knowledge of a track where he has never raced a Superbike.  During the tests conducted last week Biaggi and his team had to deal with rain on three of the four days available to them, collecting little information and increasing the difficulty of returning to the track.


Max Biaggi

“After the dream come true at Misano, where I rediscovered the warmth of my fans and the adrenaline of racing, in the second wild card at Sepang a demanding weekend awaits.  During the tests I discovered the difficulties of a complex track with extreme weather conditions, and losing precious time didn't help.  We'll need to stay 100 per cent focused to take advantage of every practice session.  The guys on my team will be under a lot of pressure and I'll have to dig deep to give my best.  Improving on the Misano results will be no walk in the park, but it isn't the first time I've faced an impossible challenge.  I hope to have fun and to give Superbike fans a good show.”