Max Biaggi has clarified comments in which he compared former MotoGP arch rival Valentino Rossi to the magician David Copperfield.

Biaggi, whose on and off-track battles with Rossi lit up the final seasons of 500cc and start of the new MotoGP era, was quoted as saying:

"Valentino Rossi is like Copperfield! After two bad seasons [at Ducati] he managed to get the world champion winning bike."

Writing on his official Twitter account Biaggi - who retired as a double World Superbike champion at the end of last year and is now a WSBK commentator on Italian TV - insisted he had not been criticising the former seven time MotoGP champion.

"Saying Rossi is like Copperfield was meant to be a compliment. Only a magician like him could recover so well after two years that were so difficult. Getting back on the world championship winning Yamaha with Lorenzo was anything but easy. I wish them both good luck."

Reigning double MotoGP champion Lorenzo is a long-time fan, and now friend, of Biaggi.