MAX WINS AT HOME! Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi won the first race at Vallelunga today, much to the delight of his legions of fans who had packed the 4.110 kilometre circuit. He then followed that up with a hard-fought for...
MAX WINS AT HOME!
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi won the first race at Vallelunga today, much to the delight of his legions of fans who had packed the 4.110 kilometre circuit. He then followed that up with a hard-fought for runner-up spot in race two and now moves into second place in the championship, 29 points behind series leader James Toseland. Max overtook Bayliss after three laps of the first race and then immediately began to extend his lead lap by lap. He took the chequered flag by a comfortable margin, with Troy Bayliss (Ducati) second, Toseland third, Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) fourth, Michel Fabrizio (Honda) fifth and Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) sixth.
In race two, Max once again battled Bayliss for the lead and looked as if he was going to pass the Australian at the two-thirds distance mark, but he ran wide at one of the turns and lost ground. That was the breathing space Bayliss needed. Although Max charged back at Bayliss, the gap was too great and he was forced to settle for second place. Third went to Haga, ahead of Troy Corser (Yamaha), Roby Rolfo (Honda) and Ruben Xaus (Ducati). Series leader Toseland crashed in race two, but remounted and finished 11th. Max's team mate Yukio Kagayama was unable to race today, due to pain in his right hand and knee - the result of his crash in Lausitz two weeks ago.
Max Race 1: 1st, Race 2: 2nd
Winning the first race here in front of my home fans is an incredible feeling. It's been a long time since I raced at Vallelunga, but the last time I was here, I won! So it's good to come back with a win. It took me a few laps to get going in race one, but once I got past Bayliss and into the lead, I was able to run at my own pace. I kept an eye on my pitboard and ran consistent laps and that was good enough to take the win. Winning a race is always special, but to win at your 'home' track in front of your own fans is even more special.
Race two was very difficult race. There was a lot of cement dust on the track after an oil spillage in the race before. In some places there was so much dust flying around that it got on to my visor and it was hard to see where I was going! We all settled into the race after a few laps and I caught Bayliss and was ready to make my move. But, in one turn, I nearly hit him and avoiding him I ran a bit wide. That was the key moment of the race, because it gave him a bit of a gap. My tyres were spinning a bit, maybe because of the higher temperatures, but it was the same for everybody. I am a little disappointed because I really want to win both races today - for myself, my team and all the fans.
I knew this morning that it would not be possible to race in my condition, so I made the decision before the warm-up. It's a big shame because I wanted to race, but not if I would be a danger to the other riders or if I could not ride safely. My injuries need time to heal up, so I am not sure about Magny-Cours next weekend. I will see how it all feels in the first day of qualifying and then make up my mind.