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Rossi talks Biaggi retirement

"I am very happy for him to win the Championship but more to retire. I had a chat with him and I think he made the right decision.

"He doubted to stay or not, but I told him 'leave in a perfect physical conditions because you never know what can happen. You have a wonderful life. You have money, everything. 41 years old is the right time to stop.'"

Rossi and Biaggi had sparred verbally as Rossi, eight years younger than Biaggi, worked his way up through the ranks, finally meeting head-to-head when Rossi joined the premier 500cc class in 2000.

Both won two races - Rossi for Honda, Biaggi for Yamaha - that year, but were beaten to the title by Kenny Roberts Jr (Suzuki).

The 2001 season was then dominated by the Rossi-Biaggi rivalry, with the gloves-off from round one - where Biaggi elbowed Rossi onto the grass along the straight-finish straight at Suzuka, for which he received a 'one fingered wave' from the #46 on his way to victory.

The pair later scuffled, behind closed doors, prior to the podium ceremony for round six at Catalunya, prompting a further warning from the FIM.

But the intense competition between the two Italians, combined with their contrasting stereotypes - Rossi the gifted, carefree youngster, famous for exuberant post-race celebrations and Biaggi the brooding 'Dark Knight' perfectionist - undoubtedly took MotoGP to new heights of popularity.

On paper, Biaggi and Yamaha were never able to mount a sustained title challenge to Rossi and Honda. Rossi broke free of Biaggi after nine rounds of the 2001 season, then dominated the start of the four-stroke MotoGP era.

After finishing runner-up to Rossi in 2001 and 2002, Biaggi switched to the satellite Honda Pons team for 2003 and 2004, the year Rossi made his victorious switch to a heavily redesigned Yamaha M1.

By then relations between Rossi had Biaggi had improved, largely due to Gibernau (Gresini Honda) replacing Biaggi as Rossi's closest competitor.

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gamepass - Unregistered

November 08, 2012 8:42 PM

something that younger fans usually don't know (and the media usually forget), is that in that in the past 250cc (or 125cc and lower) where not viewed as steps to the 500cc, they weren't created for young riders or talents that had then to move up... they were categories on their own. there were plenty of specialists that made an entire career in the lower cc classes. (Nieto, Gresini...) and there were famous 500cc rider who also wanted to win in 250.. like Freddie Spencer, because they were simply two different championships worth winning... i remember well that Biaggi said "I had a crazy idea for next year", when he moved to the 500cc. class with the Kanemoto Honda... it was different days. (i think the current Dorna championship started his decline when they had the retarded idea to put an age limit to the 125cc making it like a junior class with no value...) anyway, back to Max, one of the greatest bike racer of the last 20 years, and one of best bike racer story ever, plenty

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