On the coronary heart of the messages of assist obtained by Valentino Rossi final summer time, when he introduced his determination to retire as a MotoGP rider on the finish of the season, there may be one which stood out considerably. Max Biaggi had certainly gratified his former greatest enemy with a number of pleasant phrases, even mentioning the likelihood that they may sooner or later meet over a drink to chuckle at their previous clashes.
“I stated all of it on this tweet”, Assume again to it at the moment Biaggi, interviewed by Cycle World on the very close to finish of the profession of his rival. “We by no means pretended to be mates, neither on the observe nor off the observe, however our rivalry was probably the most stunning within the historical past of bike racing”, he believes. “My message was not supposed to vary issues. Over time, it’s pure that we develop up, mature and alter our standpoint. If I look again at the moment ‘uh, I smile and evaluation all of our previous tales with empathy. “
As chilly as Rossi is exuberant, Max Biaggi was on the coronary heart of a bitter rivalry together with his compatriot, eight years his junior, even earlier than they had been reunited within the premier class. An opposition born within the media and which then transferred to the observe. The place did this rivalry come from? “I assume we each needed to win, which meant we needed to beat one another,” observes the Roman.
Their greatest duel, in keeping with him? The 2004 South African Grand Prix, first spherical of the season and first race gained by Rossi with Yamaha. “I made a mistake”, remembers Biaggi. “I did not understand it was the final lap. I anticipated there can be one other one to make the ultimate move. It was a disgrace I misplaced, however the battle was unbelievable. . We had one other unbelievable duel in Assen in 2001, with the 500ccs, that Sunday it was my flip to win. “
Rossi and Biaggi will lastly share six seasons within the premier class, with 5 titles for the Physician. Now, 16 years later, it is time for the nine-time World Champion to hitch the retiree clan, hailed by his former rival, who himself hung up at 44. “Rossi was the final pillar of our period, the final survivor of our technology. That is why I felt the urgency to put in writing. I believe, nonetheless, that our battles, our victories and defeats are a saga that may stay without end. “