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Biaggi courts Ducati Xerox.

Max Biaggi claims to have the backing of Troy Bayliss to replace the retiring double world champion at Ducati Xerox for 2009, but admits he's had little direct contact with the factory itself.

The former MotoGP star, who finished third during a stunning debut WSBK season with Alstare Suzuki before switching to the satellite Sterilgarda Ducati outfit for 2008, has long been linked to the official team.

Last week, Xerox team manager Davide Tardozzi confirmed to Crash.net that the Roman is on a shortlist for the factory ride, alongside BSB title leader Shane Byrne and Tardozzi's favoured choice Chris Vermeulen.

But former WSBK title runner-up Vermeulen looks increasingly likely to stay in MotoGP - and Xerox could potentially have two factory seats available anyway, with an option on Michel Fabrizio's contract yet to be exercised.

"No [I haven't spoken to Xerox] although I spoke today with Troy and he said 'I have nothing against you coming to this team and I think you deserve it' ", Biaggi told Crash.net Radio on Sunday at Brands Hatch. "I said 'oh thanks! Please put in a good word for me!'

"At the end of the day I will put [myself forward] to the Ducati Xerox Team and if they think that I can be the one, then I'm really happy to come aboard. But only if they think I am the one they are looking for."

Biaggi, a four times 250cc world champion, added that - having now tasted life as both a factory and privateer WSBK rider - he considers a factory ride vital if he is to lift the World Superbike crown.

"There are other options [as well as Xerox], but what I'm really looking for next year is good support to win races and the championship," he said. "I think only a factory team can give you this chance. Like last year, I had the chance and I was so close in the points. I finished third in the championship, but I could have finished second or first going into the last round.

"I'm waiting to see what happens. I'm going on holiday now, I will talk to some people and when we come back for sure we will have some news."



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Davies` Ducati, Australian WSBK 2016. Photo: WorldSBK
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Tim Bo

August 06, 2008 10:15 AM

I'd rather someone younger and more hungry got the ride , Max has had so many chances on top machinery in 500's / MOTOGP yet would never mount a full season long challenge. Shades of Luca Cadalora , when the bike is perfect he is the fastest man on two wheels but when it isn't he's way down the field , he cannot ride round a problem and still perform like the greats could/can.

maaa - Unregistered

August 07, 2008 12:31 PM

Whats the point of recruiting new blood when they consitantly gets crushed by the "Old retirement ground guys". And even if they ride satelite bikes, they should at least be competitive for a victory or two. I say, let the new young guys start in private teams and if they are any good they will get noticed and maybe get a factory ride for next year.



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