Max Biaggi remains as motivated as ever to reclaim the World Superbike title after he was forced to relinquish his crown to Carlos Checa this year.
Biaggi was hampered by a foot injury sustained in Germany but recovered to finish third overall in the championship, narrowly edging out his new factory Aprilia team-mate Eugene Laverty.
The Italian has assembled a new team around him following the departure of his long-standing crew chief Giovanni Sandi and Francesco Guidotti – Aprilia's SBK team manager until the culmination of the 2011 season – plus several mechanics, who have taken on a new challenge next year.
In comes Marco Simoncelli's former crew chief Aligi Deganello plus three more mechanics from Aprilia Racing.
In an interview with the official World Superbike website, www.wsbk.com, Biaggi said: “I'm really motivated for 2012. I'm working hard to improve again and I feel that I can succeed.
“Everyone can imagine how tough it is to start a new world championship season with just a couple of months to organise everything and with a totally new team. Let's hope for the best.
“Together with Aprilia I've decided to take on Aligi (Deganello), who will be my new crew chief. I feel good about the decision both on the human and technical side of things.
“We'll have to see how the races go to have an overall view but just let us get down to work. There are also three more people who have worked in Aprilia. I'm feeling confident about everything.”
It may be the off-season but Biaggi's time has been spent putting together a new team crew, although with the new staff now in place the Grand Prix legend is looking forward to some time out over Christmas.
“I've been involved mentally and on a practical level to get the team set up,” he said. “Now that we've done the most important part I hope I can have a more relaxed Christmas, because the loss of my old team was quite a sufferance to me.”
“No hard feelings, I have a great feeling with all of them, so I'd like to wish them all the best for their new adventure.”