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Max Biaggi completed a stunning first day back in the World Superbike class by topping countryman Davide Giugliano in FP2 in Misano.

The Roman, who hasn't raced a Superbike since announced his racing retirement at the end of 2012, was close to half a second faster than anyone on Friday morning but was made to work in the afternoon sun.

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It appeared countryman Davide Giugliano would grab the headlines as the chequered flag was readied, the Aruba.it Ducati man turning his day around after missing all of FP1 due to an early crash.

As Giugliano sat top, Biaggi's late time of 1m 35.380s was good enough to secure top spot by 0.251s and was over two tenths under Tom Sykes's official lap record to boot.

Indeed Biaggi's late flyer pulled the front five riders apart after they spent most of the final ten minutes separated by less than one tenth of a second.

The afternoon times will be of great comfort to Giugliano, who was left to look on in frustration throughout Friday morning's activities.

The 25-year old eased himself into the afternoon's proceedings and once he jumped from tenth to fourth before overtaking team-mate Davies to go fastest with fifteen to go, it became clear he felt no ill-effects from his morning high-side.

Team-mate Chaz Davies was close behind, ending Friday 0.006s slower than Giugliano while Leon Haslam placed fourth. Just 0.06s kept the Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea - who was the first man to top Biaggi's morning time - and Tom Sykes apart, the latter's best time incredibly 0.1s off second place.

Racing at a circuit he knows for the first time in four rounds, Jordi Torres ensured all three Aprilias finished inside the top seven with Leandro Mercado a place behind in eighth.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki's Alex Lowes (ninth) ended the day with two solid top-ten placings while fellow Englishman Leon Camier finally got some laps under his belt after a morning filled with mechanical woes.

Despite setting just 13 laps all day, Camier managed to round out the top 15 with a time 1.2s down on Biaggi.

Unlike Giugliano, Michael van der Mark appeared to be showing the wear and tear of his terrifying morning spill. The Ducthman fell at the fast Curvone corner and could place no higher than 17th in the afternoon.

A mightily impressive fourth in FP1, German wildcard Markus Reiterberger slipped to twelfth in the afternoon. Luca Scassa, wildcarding for the Aruba.it Ducati team this weekend, was the only man unable to improve on his morning effort, leaving him 20th at the close of the day.

The session was stopped halfway through after Christophe Ponsson fell from his Pedercini Kawasaki. Although taken to the medical centre, the Fenehcman is reported to be ok.

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David Emmett (MotoMatters) was explaining on the ADV board that Biaggi has been testing for Aprilia quite a bit at Misano. Max is very familiar with the new surface and slight changes to the track. Emmett also mentioned that since Biaggi is a wild card, he can use specific gearing for this track rather than the one-size-fits-all transmission ratios the regular teams must use for the entire season. I don't know if there is any confirmation Biaggi is using different ratios but I can see where it would be an advantage, just take a look at the top speed, that might be an indication of gearing.
Again, not taking anything away from is time today.

Not taking anything away from this achievement, but his bike as a wildcard has free gear ratios, not the championship spec ones from the LH and JT bikes, or any other regular, plus he had a 2 day test at this track recently...either way this is a top performance from Max

ianisme:
Robert Danley:
shakennstirred: it puts the so called top riders in WSBK to shame
and they wonder why very few of them ever make the step up to MotoGP.
this is why[\blockquote]

Actually, Edwards, Bayliss, Toseland and Spies all WSBK champions tried and didn't do too well.
[\blockquote]
Need I remind you that Bayliss won a MotoGP race in a wildcard ride?[\blockquote]

True, after not doing very well in both the factory Ducati and the Honda support MotoGP teams and returning to WSBK.

Good demonstration of weakness of WSBK field. Can you imagine this happening in MotoGP?

shakennstirred: it puts the so called top riders in WSBK to shame
and they wonder why very few of them ever make the step up to MotoGP.
this is why[\blockquote]

Actually, Edwards, Bayliss, Toseland and Spies all WSBK champions tried and didn't do too well.