Max Biaggi is on the verge of a switch to the Aprilia's new World Superbike team for 2009, with a deal set to be confirmed this weekend.
Having been snubbed by Ducati Xerox, Biaggi looks to have found a home at another Italian factory team after agreeing a two-year deal worth in excess of one million euros, according to Gazetta dello Sport
Biaggi left MotoGP at the end of 2005 and joined for World Superbikes with Suzuki in 2007, then jumped to the satellite Sterilgarda Ducati squad for 2008. However, while his season has experienced several high points, he is yet to top the podium.
Even so, Biaggi remained the favourite to replace Troy Bayliss at the factory Ducati team, but with Noriyuki Haga now set to get the nod instead, the Italian will return to the brand he won three of his four consecutive 250GP world titles with.
Likely to be announced over the course of the Vallelunga World Superbike weekend, when Aprilia officially launches its new RSV-4 road bike in nearby Rome, it isn't known who will join Biaggi in the team, although testing duties have been carried out by Alex Hofmann, Alex Debon and Roberto Rolfo. Rolfo, in particular, is reported to have been posting very encouraging lap times recently.
Former Aprilia rider and BSB champion-elect Shane Byrne is also being linked with a move, although it remains to be seen whether he will stick with GSE Racing following decision to stay in the British Championship and switch to Yamahas
Aprilia last raced in World Superbike during the 2002 season.