Max Biaggi is now officially a MotoGP Legend! The four-time 250cc World Champion was inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, with the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello proving the perfect backdrop, joining the greats such as Rossi and Agostini…
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta presented Biaggi with his MotoGP Legend Medal at the ceremony on Friday, with plenty of famous faces from the paddock in attendance – and a very special video message sent in from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, too.
Incredibly – given the career he would go on to build – Biaggi started racing late, first competing at the age of 18. From there, his rise was stratospheric as 1991 saw his first Grand Prix races and points in the 250cc class, 1992 heralded his first win and by 1994, the “Roman Emperor” was a World Champion for the first time – also taking Aprilia’s first title in the 250cc class. The glory didn’t stop there, as Biaggi took the 250cc crown an incredible four times in a row and with two different factories, reigning the category from 1994 until 1997 inclusive and reserving his place in history as one of the best to race in the class.
In 1998 Biaggi moved up to the premier class and, incredibly, he won on his 500cc debut – something not repeated since. He came runner up that year and began another run of impressive performances, never finishing outside the top five in the Championship in any premier class season between 1998 and 2005, his final hurrah in MotoGP™.
By the time Biaggi departed the Grand Prix paddock he had accrued 42 victories, of which 13 were in the premier class, and 111 podiums and 56 pole positions overall. But his motorcycle racing career was far from over, as he moved to WorldSBK and took 21 wins and 71 podiums, crowning himself Champion in 2010 and 2012 – therefore the first MotoGP Legend to also be a WorldSBK Champion.
Max Biaggi: “First of all, thanks everybody for coming. This is a very special day for me and, first of all, I need to thank Carmelo and Dorna, who make this happen, because without them, nothing was possible, so thank you very much, Carmelo. Secondly, I want to say thanks simply to everyone who makes this happen; all the manufacturers’ work in the past, starting from Aprilia, Honda, Yamaha, and all the people that are here are basically the ones that supported me all the time, in different teams and different situations, in the good days and the bad days. So, I’m proud that everybody came; for me, this means a lot, because life still goes on after racing.”
“I’m proud also that my family really encouraged me in the bad days to still do it and never give up, and they supported me all the time. Today, they’re here, my son and my daughter are here, so this is a very emotional moment because they can say now, ‘Hey, my dad is a Legend,’ so this is something cool! Twenty years ago, I didn’t even think about that, so as a man, this is important too.”
“Lastly, now I’m going in the third phase of my life, and of course I’m team owner. I want to thank Husqvarna and Sterilgarda, who make this dream come true, so now I use my experience to hopefully create the new riders for the future, hopefully the champions; who knows? I want to thank again Dorna, Carlos as well, because they have done an impeccable job over the years and MotoGP now is just fantastic, so thanks a lot.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: “It was two years ago when we decided to nominate Max as a MotoGP Legend, but unfortunately the pandemic and the rest of the things didn’t allow us to do it in a proper manner. This is a ceremony we do without restrictions masks, with everybody happy, and I think the time we waited to do it has been reasonable. Max has clearly been a big legend of MotoGP. I was telling him, I have a fairing of this bike in my office in Madrid, which was given by Carlo Pernat to me with the number 4. I always remember the start of MotoGP.”
“When we started, really the situation was different, we have been lucky to improve all together these possibilities, and now MotoGP is something very, very important. For us to nominate Max as a MotoGP Legend, is something not just important for him but also important for us. He has been a true legend, he has been racing very hard, he has a team today and is successful and is teaching the people to do that. For all of these reasons, I think it’s very important today to nominate Max as a MotoGP Legend, and I’m very proud about that. Thank you.”
Max Biaggi Career Stats
- 42 Grand Prix wins: 29 wins x 250cc, 13 wins x 500cc/MotoGP (5 x MotoGP™, 8 x 500cc)
- 111 GP podiums: Biaggi is one of 10 riders who reached the milestone of 100 podiums in GP racing, of which 53 are in the 250cc class and 58 in 500cc/MotoGP. He is the Italian rider with the third most GP podiums, behind only Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini
- 56 pole positions: one of only five riders with more than 50 poles in GP racing: 33 x 250cc, 23 x 500cc/MotoGP
- Biaggi won at least once across seven successive premier class seasons from 1998 to 2004. He also took at least one pole position per premier class season from 1998 to 2004
- Biaggi is one of only two riders who have clinched a title in both GP racing and World Superbike along with John Kocinski (250cc/1990 and WorldSBK/1997)