Having been controversially labelled a '250 rider' ever since his move to the premier-class in 1998, Max Biaggi has made considerable efforts of late to adapt his front-wheel corner speed style to more of a rear-wheel slider, as demanded by the massive power outputs from the new generation of four-stroke prototypes.

Biaggi's precise and technical approach has undoubtedly served him well - both in the 250cc class (where he won four world titles) and in the 500cc/MotoGP class - where he's been a regular championship contender, but the Roman is still seeking that little something to become a premier-class champion.

Having secured proven RC211V machinery for 2003, the Italian ace was soon seen preparing for the new season by riding 450cc four-stroke motocross machines - in offroad and Supermoto spec. In both disciplines, sliding is essential to success (see lower pic) and the evidence is that Biaggi is getting ever better at it.

Last Sunday in Rome, Biaggi - paired with European Supermoto regular Simone Girolami - won a two-hour Supermoto endurance event, and next Monday (December 8), will take on the likes of Loris Capirossi, Troy Bayliss, 'Slide King' Garry McCoy, Carlos Checa and 250cc World Champion Manuel Poggiali in a special Supermoto race at the Bologna Motorshow.

Should Biaggi triumph against such competition, few will dispute that - if needed - he can get as sideways as anyone.



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