Max Biaggi has lauded the Aprilia Alitalia team for giving him the full package he needed to wrap up the 2010 World Superbike Championship in Italy – his first world title since 1997.
The Italian's 11th and fifth place finishes at Imola may have been his worst of the season, but it was enough to see him claim the WSBK title with one round to spare, Biaggi in turn becoming the first Italian to win the crown.
The high point of new journey that began back in 2007 when Biaggi embarked on a switch to the World Superbike Championship having fallen out of favour in MotoGP, while he endured false starts with Suzuki and then Ducati, he has found a good 'home' with Aprilia since joining in 2009.
Indeed, he expressed his particular joy at winning the title for Aprilia – with whom he won three 250GP titles during the mid-90s -, claiming the marque's hospitality has been just as important to him as the RSV-4 bike.
“This is a grand day – a day which I have greatly desired,” he beamed. “I've often felt in past years like I hadn't been placed in the proper conditions to be able to express my worth and to achieve the results that I know I deserve.
“This is one of the reasons that, at a certain point in my career, I chose this world, the SBK championship, and this is why I wanted to surround myself with the right people for this adventure – because racing isn't just about speed, tyres and an engine.
“It is also about joy and having fun and with these guys, with this team, I feel at home. I want to thank everyone: my team, Aprilia, Piaggio Group, the chairman.
Winning nine races and finishing each race in the points, Biaggi's speed, consistency and reliability this season have played a crucial role in his quest for title glory, though he says his double victories at Monza and Misano will always stand out to him.
“It has not been an easy season. Many riders have won races and if they had been just a bit more consistent, they would have been able to be more troublesome for us. The greatest moments were the double victories at Monza and Misano. It is something very special to win in front of my fans.
Turning his attentions to the final round in France, Biaggi is looking to end his season on a high note and secure the manufacturers' crown for Aprilia.
“But it isn't over yet – there is still one goal left – to ride my RSV4 to the manufacturer title. We'll talk again in a week and it would be truly fantastic to close out this wonderful season with another championship.”