Cycle News

Cycle News 2013 Issue 02 Jan 15

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 66 of 91

RACER TEST P68 APRILIA RSV4 WORLD SUPERBIKE Two-Timer wowo-T WE RIDE THE BIKE THAT WON ITS SECOND WORLD SUPERBIKE TITL BY ALAN CATHCART PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEL EDGE H alf a point. That was the minuscule margin of victory for Aprilia's Max Biaggi over Kawasaki's Tom Sykes in the 2012 World Superbike Championship the closest ever finish in the 25year history of the series. In regaining the title he'd previously won for the Italian manufacturer in 2010, magic Max – aka the Roman Emperor – joined with his new-for-2012 teammate Eugene Laverty (who also won a race in Portimao) to regain the Manufacturers World crown for Aprilia. Consistency was the key to Biaggi's title challenge, with no less than six fourth places in a 27-race season that saw an amazing nine different race-winners, aboard five different makes of bike. Biaggi has now scored two world titles, 21 race wins, 70 podiums and five pole positions in World Superbike, as well as four 250cc GP world titles to boot, all but one of them with Aprilia. "This is the fourth World Championship out of six that I have won in the season's final race," said Biaggi. "I seem to like difficult challenges!" And apparently it was challengely enough as Biaggi said enough was enough at the end of the season, the 41 year old announcing his retirement. But back to 2012. Despite losing his entire team of mechanics just three months prior to the start of the season to the Ioda CRT project, Biaggi promptly won the first race of the 2012 season in Australia, before tangling handlebars with Sykes at the flat-out first turn of the second race. Miraculously surviving a high-speed trip across the grass, Biaggi rejoined the circuit in last place, having lost more than eight seconds on the leaders Riding the World Superbike Championship-winning Aprilia RSV4 around the Aragon Motorland Circuit in Spain. There's worse ways to spend a day. - a handicap he swiftly set about redressing. And he ended up second to winner Carlos Checa after a brilliant never-say-die ride that ultimately marked the moment he won the world title.

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