Biaggi’s memory on Rossi anniversary: “We literally hated each other!”

Max Biaggi has reflected on his feisty rivalry with Valentino Rossi on the anniversary of a classic race.
Biaggi’s memory on Rossi anniversary: “We literally hated each other!”

On April 18, 2004, Rossi won the Africa MotoGP at Welkom after an enthralling battle from start to finish with Biaggi.

Rossi made history as the first-ever rider to win consecutive premier class races with different manufacturers.

He had left Honda and was making his Yamaha debut in South Africa and, starting from pole position, he fended off Biaggi.

They exchanged a brief and awkward handshake afterwards. Rossi would go on to win four MotoGP championships with Yamaha.

Nineteen years later, Biaggi reflected: “The rivalry with Valentino is old, but how I miss it! 

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“Today I only have good memories even if we literally hated each other.

“Having been Valentiniano or Biaggista doesn't matter now, but it was important that every fan identified with one of us and, through us, learned to love a unique and incredibly exciting sport. What a great story.”

Biaggi, now 51, has previously summarised his iconic feud with Rossi: “Now I think we were two idiots who waged war against each other through the press instead of clarifying in person how we should have done.”

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