Finding a replacement for the rush that comes with elite competition can take on many forms. For Max Biaggi, six-time a world champion, a full-time return to the grand prix paddock feels like “a kind of pure adrenaline.”

The Italian’s Max Racing outfit will graduate to the Moto3 world championship with rider Aron Canet as its sole rider. The new representation is a rapid rise in the fortunes for the team, created for 2017, a year in which it competed in the Moto3 class in the Italian CIV championship.

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A year on, and Biaggi’s squad moved to the FIM Junior world championship, but his ambitions were always set on the biggest prize. Now, with his own personnel, Sterilgarda sponsorship, the expertise of new team manager Peter Oettl, and KTM machinery, the Italian feels his rider can be a title challenger. spoke to the Roman Emperor about his team’s new foray into the Moto3 world championship, and his hopes for 2019.
Can you tell us a bit about Max Racing and your entry into the Moto3 world championship with rider Aron Canet?

Max Biaggi:
There was a chance because Peter’s son (Philipp) was moving up to Moto2. There was one [grid] place available. I have my own team in the CEV (FIM Jr World Championship). In one year we did the Italian championship. Then we moved to the CEV. I think it was the right move to come to the bigger championship. We were looking for a good opportunity with the riders. In the small class if the rider is not good enough then the team doesn’t look good.

We knew Canet was going to change team. So we worked on trying to take him and then I asked Peter to join this project. Now we start 2019, but who knows, maybe it can be for a long time. I need also an operator guy, like a guy who is here and can put the team together. Peter is kind of the team manager. I asked him if he wanted to do this and he said, ‘Yeah, it’s what I’m doing with my son.’ So I thought, ‘Let’s make one team with one rider.’ The parameter is in the now. Also financially it’s better to start with one rider.

I guess Canet is a good rider and I see this year his performance going a little bit up and down. If we’re able to give him some regularity, some stability, he can be the one who can fight for the championship.
So this is your structure, Max Racing, with Peter Oettl running the team?

Max Biaggi:
Yes. I will bring all my facilities, all my team and crew. Peter will be the team manager, which is an important role. I’m not going to be there. I’m just team principal, but I’m not affecting the team. If the team can run itself and Peter is on top of that. OK, if the rider needs some direction, or some way to work during the winter, or in terms of strategy, I can help him.

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Will the team feature the same technicians as your current team in the FIM Junior World Championship?

Max Biaggi:
Yeah, because the chief mechanic is the one I have now. He was working with Aprilia, and then KTM. He had a long career. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating, but to me he was too good for the championship he was in.

But I think in Moto3, in the world championship, it’s more than enough. He has a lot of experience. The mechanics also, and they have worked together for one-and-a-half years. Mainly, part of the group is Spanish. Luckily we have a Spanish rider!
Sterilgarda was a big personal backer through your career. Will that company be part of this project?

Max Biaggi:
Yes. We have already agreed. That partnership started two years ago with the goal of coming to the bigger championship, which is here. Finally we got this and I think it’s medium to long term. So it will be the main one.
How is the emotion of this move? It’s quite a rapid rise for your squad in just two years…

Max Biaggi:
I am excited because when we were in the smaller championship we had dreams of going to the bigger one. Finally in a few months we will start testing for this year. It’s a kind of pure adrenaline. Of course, the rider is good but we need to give him now the good structure, the good package to make him perform in a high level. I hope that this team with this rider can be the news for next year, but you never know. I don’t want to say something that creates high expectation, which is difficult to manage.
Are we likely to see you at all the races next year? How will you balance your current role as Aprilia’s ambassador?

Max Biaggi:
Next year I’ll be at all of them. My main role is to be with Aprilia as an ambassador. That’s why I’m not joining them directly, because my priority is to be with Aprilia to do this kind of job. The other one is like a team owner, I put my structure with my people and, let’s say, the economic side is coming from me. But I don’t have to be 100 percent in the team when we are racing. It’s kind of what Rossi does, or what other teams do.