Max Biaggi was in high spirits after notching up the first World Superbike Championship win of his title defence at Motorland Aragon – his first with the fabled 'No.1' plate.
The Italian went into the second Aragon race after completing a frustrating eighth second place finish of the season earlier in the day, Biaggi having led for three-quarters of the race, only for an error at the hairpin to allow the close-following Marco Melandri through to win.
However, having established an early lead over his countryman once more in race two, Biaggi made no mistake on this occasion, even forcing his rival into an error that allowed him to cross the line a comfortable winner.
A first victory since triumphing into the final race of his 2010 title-winning season, Biaggi – who traditionally races with the No.3 plate - was thrilled to be standing atop the podium again.
"I am truly happy,” said Biaggi, who led 35 of the 40 laps around the Spanish venue. “This is the first victory with the number 1 on the fairing. I think it could have happened a lot sooner. Unfortunately there was always some circumstance that kept it from us, but we deserve it and I will enjoy it with my team.
“I must thank the team - we worked very hard and between the two races we were also able to change something on the RSV-4 which allowed me to push even harder and to be fast and consistent all the way to the end. These are very close races where any slight hesitation can compromise everything. But I dare say that this was a decisive victory, in front from the first metre to the last.”
Significantly, a disappointing day for championship leader Carlos Checa has seen Biaggi close the gap back down from 72 to 43 points, though the former MotoGP rider insists he is only focused on his own performances.
"I am certainly not celebrating because of the points I earned,” he added. “I did not overtake anyone and there is little to celebrate where the standings are concerned. What matters to me is to have truly won.
“Now I want to ride good races and keep winning, but we need to make the entire bike-tyres package competitive. It hasn't always been so up to now, so I hope that from here on we can change something.”