Biaggi apologises for Melandri spat

The reigning champion opens up about why he 'slapped' Marco Melandri at Donington Park...
Max Biaggi has spoken more candidly about his pit lane confrontation with Marco Melandri at the end of Superpole during the second round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park.

The former MotoGP rivals were involved in a qualifying spat after Biaggi pulled across Melandri when the Yamaha rider was on a quick qualifying lap. Melandri responding with 'sarcastic applause' and a 'block pass' that indicated his frustration.

Following the incident, Biaggi – followed by members of his Aprilia team and TV cameras – argued with Melandri in the pit lane, the reigning champion controversially giving his countryman two 'slaps' in the process.

Though Biaggi maintained his silence on the matter throughout the weekend, he explained his actions in an interview with Virgin Radio, as printed by, stating that he was 'sorry' and that he shouldn't have responded to provocation.

"I acted silly. A world champion shouldn't respond to provocation. I'm sorry I got involved in all of that,” he said.

"I'm sorry because I didn't need to do that. Everyone can make mistakes, I'm human just like everyone else, and what matters is recognising your errors. I'm very good at some things, but also really foolish when it comes to others.

"Melandri likes to complain a lot,” he added. “When he was in MotoGP with us, he said that Rossi was getting special tyres, that Capirossi was stealing his pay-check, and had a comment for everyone. Now that he's in Superbike, he is having problems with poor old Biaggi. Kidding aside, I'm not going to respond to Melandri's comments, because that would be falling for the same provocation twice.

“I can only discuss the facts. We were actually judged by Race Direction at the track, who spoke with us and our team managers, and who said that I did hold him up, but that it was involuntary. Meanwhile, what he did was judged to be voluntary. Both voluntary and involuntary actions are punishable, and in this case we were penalised equally."

"Then, the fact that I went to his garage after Superpole was in response to his provocation, where he gave me a sarcastic applause. It made me mad, and I was silly to fall into his trap and play his game. For that I am sorry. I know I made a mistake, and made a gesture that wasn't appropriate. But I'm like that. I'm not able to be fake and I have always been direct.

“Next time I won't respond to any provocation. And if we went back through the years, do you know how many incidents we would find where I was in the right? But I don't want to get into that type of conversation. I've made my comment on Race Direction's decision, and all the rest is just talk."

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March 29, 2011 10:00 AM

It's a backhanded apology when you say if you look back over the years we will see how many times i was right. If you are sorry you say sorry without adding any caveats. This was one of many incidents over the weekend that he should be sorry for, he should have apologised for the whole weekend as was involved in less than savoury stuff from Friday through to Sunday and that's a fact. And no i don't like him, great racer at times but not a nice human being and he has shown it time and time again. I will admit to having a chuckle in race two when he got black flagged. Leon C is going to be top Aprilia this year and that's from a Nori fan

doc - Unregistered

March 29, 2011 10:18 AM

One hell of a talented rider, one of the very best of the last 25yrs. But I would much rather my kids follow the example of a rider like Checa who seems to appreciate how fortunate he is to be a professional racer. For the sake of the championship I hope his childish outbursts are out of the way for 2011. Talking about off the track drama does get dull after 2mins!

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