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Battling Biaggi back on top despite crash
10 September 2012
Max Biaggi admits he was disappointed not to further his advantage in the World Superbike Championship standings following his costly crash in race two at the Nurburgring, though he was otherwise thrilled to get back to his best form across the weekend.
The Italian came into the event 18.5 points adrift of Marco Melandri having only managed a single podium finish in the seven races leading to the Nurburgring, but showed signs of a revival by claiming his first pole position of the season in qualifying.
Settling into second position behind Tom Sykes at the start of race one, Biaggi struck to the front on lap twelve before cruising to the chequered flag for his first victory since Motorland Aragon in July. Coupled to Melandri's failure to finish, Biaggi not only overturned the deficit, he was also able to move 6.5 points ahead.
“In race one I got off to a good start and then Sykes set a mad pace. When I saw him starting to slow I risked overtaking. I thought maybe it was a strategy he was using, but then the gap widened so I pushed hard until the chequered flag came out.
Keen to progress further during race two, Biaggi's hopes of extending that lead seemed to be scuppered on the opening lap when he lost his Aprilia under braking for the NGK chicane.
Seemingly set to hand the initiative back to Melandri, a determined Biaggi remounted to fight back to 13th position and was duly rewarded when his arch rival crashed out again up ahead. As a result, he leaves Germany with a 9.5 point advantage over Melandri.
“It was a shame about the crash in the first lap of race two. I braked without overdoing it, but then I hit a bump and I couldn't do anything about the slide. I'm disappointed because after that I was riding well with a leading pace.
Despite the error, Biaggi was satisfied with his strong pace throughout the weekend and he is confident he can replicate that at the penultimate event in Portugal.
“Given what had happened, we contained the damage and we're leaving the Nürburgring with the leadership. It could have been worse, but we could also have done a repeat of the good result in race one. In Portimao we'll be starting almost from scratch. The battle is close, but we'll be in it until the end.”
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