- MAX BIAGGI IS 2012 WORLD SBK CHAMPION
- APRILIA IS 2012 SBK WORLD MANUFACTURER CHAMPION
It is a complete triumph for Max Biaggi and Aprilia on the Magny-Cours track.
Biaggi takes his sixth world title in a brilliant career.
Aprilia, with the RSV4, dominates as best SBK manufacturer. A victory completed by the Aprilia Racing first place in the special Teams category.
But it was not an easy weekend: Max had to fight down to the last turn in order to win the title of World Champion.
Magny-Cours, 7 October 2012 - It was clear from the beginning that Magny-Cours would not be a round for the faint of heart.
The weather and fate reshuffled the deck, providing all of the motorcycling enthusiasts with a breathtaking season finale. Two races which will remain indelibly in the memories of all the fans. A world championship which was decided only at the last turn of the last race.
In fact, the rain which had fallen copiously during the night made the track treacherous and it cost Max Biaggi dearly straight away in a sliding crash during the fifth lap of Race 1.
Max's attempts to get his RSV4 back on the track proved to be in vain due to the amount of damage done to the bike. The Aprilia Racing team mechanics did their usual extraordinary best to put the RSV4 back together so that Max could defend his leadership in Race 2. In fact, the first race served well the closest rivals as they dangerously reduced Biaggi's advantage. Finishing in third place in Race 1, Sykes reduced the gap to 14.5 points and Melandri (2nd place) to 19.5.
And this was the situation going into the race which would decide the championship. Sykes rocketed out to take the lead and immediately demonstrated that the win was within a shout for him, a result which would have forced Biaggi to take at least fifth in order to maintain a minimum advantage in the standings. And in fact this was the case, but Biaggi had to battle in the pack and only after putting the Ducatis ridden by Checa and Giugliano was he able to concern himself with maintaining the position which, with a 0.5 point advantage, crowned him World Champion at the end of a season which will forever be remembered as one of the most exciting, evenly matched and heated in the history of Superbike.
Max Biaggi: “This is the fourth world championship out of six that I've won in the last race. I guess I must like a difficult challenge! The 2012 season was tight to say the least: we started off well winning at Phillip Island after completely revamping my team, but we also had some difficult moments. We definitely worked for the title and maybe that's why it's an even sweeter victory. I'd like to thank the Team, Aprilia and Piaggio Group, from president Colaninno to the last worker because my success is just the tip of a great Italian company's work. I would also like to thank my family, my girlfriend Eleonora and my two children, as well as the always present Marino Laghi”.
Gigi Dall'Igna, Aprilia Racing Technical and Sport Director: “Winning is always something extraordinary, but winning a world championship this way, at the last turn of the last race, makes it incredibly exciting. Credit to Max who battled on every circuit, always earning important points and bringing home fantastic victories which led us to this double victory today. Aprilia's victory in the Manufacturer World Championship, thanks also to Laverty, is a reward for a great Group and a Racing Division which are the pride of Italian technology. Applause also goes to our rivals, never before so many and strong enough to make the outcome of this championship uncertain and unforgettable down to the last moment".
TOMORROW IN THE RACES AT MAGNY-COURS MAX BIAGGI WILL START FROM THE THIRD ROW
THIRD BEST TIME AND FRONT ROW FOR TEAM MATE EUGENE LAVERTY
Magny-Cours, 6 October 2012 - Max Biaggi and the Aprilia Racing Team faced a difficult Saturday at Magny-Cours for Superpole, the prologue to tomorrow's races which will determine the 2012 World SBK Championship.
Max Biaggi started off strong, setting the best time in the first Superpole session with an excellent 1’37.790 which seemed to be good foreshadowing for the rest of the afternoon. But the current championship leader was unable to duplicate the performance in the second session where he finished in tenth place, stopping the clock at 1’38.095. This is a placing which will force the championship leader to start from the third row tomorrow.
Max Biaggi: “I'm obviously a bit disappointed because I made a few mistakes in the fast lap with the qualifying tyre that kept me from staying in the top eight. I won't dwell on what happened. It is already time to think about what to expect tomorrow. There is a risk of rain tomorrow and that could shuffle the deck since we haven't done even one lap in the wet this weekend. The important thing will be to start well and stay focused. Then we'll see what happens. I'll ride my own race and try to stay out front without making too many calculations”.
The day went decidedly better for Eugene Laverty who, once making it into the top eight for the third and decisive session, rode his way to the front row, stopping the clock with the third best time at 1’37.516.
At the end of the day the rider from Northern Ireland made no attempt to hide his surprise: “To be honest I didn't expect to take third place. After the practice session I thought I would be battling for a spot on the second row. For the races tomorrow we'll be a bit at the mercy of the weather which could change everything. In any case we still need to shave a few tenths of a second off our race pace in order to battle with the front runners.”
MAX BIAGGI AND APRILIA AT THE FINAL ROUND OF WORLD SUPERBIKE 2012.
THE RIDER AND MANUFACTURER TITLES WILL BE DECIDED ON THE FRENCH CIRCUIT AT MAGNY COURS
MAX AND HIS RSV4 ARRIVE AT THE DECISIVE ROUND WITH A SOLID LEAD IN THE STANDINGS
COMING FROM HIS FIRST VICTORY ASTRIDE THE RSV4, EUGENE LAVERTY WANTS HIS FIRST SEASON WITH APRILIA RACING TO FINISH STRONG.
Intermot, Cologne, 3 October 2012 - It will not be a weekend for the faint of heart. The 2012 Superbike season is drawing to a close with the last round on the French circuit at Magny Cours, and the race for both world titles (rider and manufacturer) is still wide open. The Aprilia standard bearer, five time world champion Max Biaggi, after excellent performances at the Nürburgring and Portimao, is in the lead of the rider standings with a 30.5 point advantage over Sykes and 38.5 ahead of Melandri. The challenge these three riders face revolves around the 50 points that are up for grabs in the two French races.
The Corsair can count on his excellent form, highlighted by the grit and tenacity demonstrated at Portimao during a weekend ravaged by poor weather. The French track has already seen him win in 2010, while last year Max had to take a forced break due to the injury he suffered at the Nürburgring.
From the Cologne Intermot Motorcycle show, where today he unveiled the new Aprilia RSV4 Factory ABS MY13 with its 184 HP engine, advanced electronics, new ergonomics and latest generation sport ABS, Max Biaggi had this to say: "I want to tackle this race like any other. I know the pressure will be high because of the current standings, but we must not lose focus because we are the ones with the most to lose. Being out front puts you in the bullseye. Our rivals know that any weakness on our part could reopen the competition. In any case I am calm and focused as always. We've demonstrated that we can do well when we are able to take advantage of every practice session and I can't wait to get onto the track and get to work".
Eugene Laverty turns up at Magny Cours after his first victory under Aprilia colours. His excellent performance in recent races has contributed to strengthening the Italian brand's hold on its leadership in the manufacturer competition (Aprilia leads with 28.5 points ahead of BMW, 47.5 over Ducati, 66 over Kawasaki, 152 over Honda and 292 over Suzuki), and it has also pumped up the rider from Northern Ireland, who now knows without a doubt that he can be competitive on any track.
"We've reached the final round of the season at Magny Cours in 6th position in the championship. I'm within reach of achieving 5th overall and so that is my aim for the weekend. The first half of the season was disappointing but since then we've finished on the podium several times. It was a huge relief to win last time out in Portimao and it was nice to reward the team for all their hard work in turning our season around. Another victory would be great so let's see what the weekend brings”.