Biaggi to start second at Phillip Island.

Max Biaggi put the new Aprilia RSV4 a shock second on the grid for its World Superbike race debut at Phillip Island on Sunday.

The Roman, preparing to start his third WSBK season, was ranked just eleventh during Friday first qualifying session, but signalled his intentions by claiming second to Ten Kate Honda's Jonathan Rea in second qualifying.

The new knockout Superpole format was an unknown quantity, and clamed some high profile victims, but Biaggi - who often struggled with the previous single-lap attack - excelled to finish second only to Yamaha's rookie superstar Ben Spies.

Aprilia is making its factory return after seven years out of WSBK, while Biaggi last rode for the Italian manufacturer during the 1996 250cc World Championship.

“It's a big sensation for me to come back after so many years to Aprilia with this new project, the bike is good already,” said Biaggi, after his best ever Superpole performance. “We still have to see which is the best way to go but for now qualifying was very good and exciting. I don't know about race pace for tomorrow but this is an encouraging start.

“When I saw everyone going 31s [in Superpole], I thought 'wow, that is fast'. I had some trouble in the free practice before qualifying, we swapped bikes and it was not my favourite one but we made a great job,” he added.

Biaggi's team-mate Shinya Nakano will start his first WSBK race from ninth.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Biaggi, Australian WSBK 2009
Aprilia pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Aprilia pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lorenzo Savadori, Milwaukee Aprilia [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Air gun, Milwaukee Aprilia, Assen WSBK 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia data technician, Assen WSBK 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia switch gear, Assen WSBK 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia switch gear, Assen WSBK 2017
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Milwaukee Aprilia, Aragon WSBK 2017
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Milwaukee Aprilia, Aragon WSBK 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia, Aragon WSBK 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia, Aragon WSBK 2017
Akrapovic on Aprilia, Thai WSBK 2017

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bren - Unregistered

February 28, 2009 12:54 PM

Superbikes is the best racing and closet in the world but they need to get someone to steer it to the top. the director missed the whole of max's lap just looking at people sat in the pit. and with a commentator not even knowing exactly how the new format worked. james kept correcting him-even when he did jack was talking about sharks or something non bike related. with a world leading commentary team like moto gp has and like SBK used to have, SBK would lead the way and frankly by a long way. before gp was confirmed on eurosport i hoped sbk was gonna get that team from gp. its becoming a missed marketing opportunity for the owners of SBK. its the best so show the world its the best!

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