Max Biaggi vents and reveals a secret never told

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Max Biaggi’s words.

Max Biaggi lashed out in a lengthy Facebook post after Marco Borciani, his team manager in his Ducati Superbike days, harshly attacked him.

“It’s a really hot summer and this morning the temperature got really critical when I read a gratuitous attack from a former SBK personality, in whose team I played in 2008. There is little to use subtext, you all know that in that year I raced a Ducati in the team managed by Borciani. I know Borciani was very sick and I am very sorry for how bad he had to go through! I am also super happy that he is now healed and in excellent health. Having said that necessary premise, let’s get back to the crux of the matter.”

“Choosing the team for 2008 was very difficult for me. I signed a contract directly with Ducati, a contract that included a move to the factory team for the following year. You all know then how it went, and I thank heaven that it went that way, because I thus returned home to Aprilia, to write other wonderful pages of my sporting and nonsporting life. I continue in saying that non-winners in sports have a hard time understanding the mentality that animates a multiple world champion! There is no envy on their part, only an inability to see beyond, to understand those who have gone above and beyond. A champion wants to win at any cost and so sacrifices his life, in all its aspects, in order to achieve that goal. Do not believe those who say otherwise! A champion must respect everyone, but on the track he must be ruthless! Just as on the track it is difficult to form friendships, especially when fighting for the same goal, in the same way a champion must demand the utmost from everyone around him. Everyone. It’s not about being the prima donna. A prima donna would not risk dying at Doohan Corner (Phillip Island Circuit) to win! I don’t demand and I don’t want to be liked by everyone, but it is not correct to omit what happened in that year, turning the truth, into the alleged whims of a rider.”

“Here is what happened, here is what correctly places the events of 2008. It’s been 14 years, so it’s time to set a few things straight. The bike that I first tested for 2008 was an absolutely winning bike. Compared to the previous year, the bike gained 200 cc in displacement, while some of its components became standard. It was we, with Borciani’s team, who first tried that bike in Australia, during private testing. On that occasion we did a race simulation, which we finished with a time 4 seconds faster than the time obtained in the race won in the previous year by Bayliss, with the old official bike and with the same tires. Even on the best lap I was faster than the pole position also made by Bayliss in 2007, by exactly four tenths. The bike on that occasion had the maximum rpm at 11500 rpm. After a few days we moved to Qatar, for a new test and on that occasion the bike was taken off 500 rpm, due to an alleged structural problem on the camshafts. We could do nothing but adjust. Remember this data, because it will come in handy as we go on.”

“At the first race I got a second and a third place, while in Australia, on the launch lap of the superpole, the gearshift broke. Unable to participate in the superpole, I took the start from the 16th position, in the fourth row. In race 1 it took me nine laps to reach second position and over the next seven laps I reduced the gap to Bayliss, who was first, to 1.6 seconds. Unfortunately, however, with six laps to go I slipped without consequence in the downhill hairpin. In race 2 I tried again to make a comeback and after six laps I was already third, but a bad crash in turn 1 put me out of the running. The accident to see it again is scary even today. In that corner you get up to 300 km/h and in the very bad carambole fortunately I only fractured the radius of my left arm! I came back to Valencia, after 21 days in a cast, and in the first free practice I realized something was wrong with the bike. I stopped in the pits and talked to my chief technician. However, the problem remained undefined and I finished the session with a lot of doubts. At the beginning of the second free practice session, I noticed the exact same problem and immediately returned to the pits. I told my chief technician that I would end my practice there! In fact, I was coming back from the bad hand injury, and to race I had to have infiltrations of painkillers on my wrist, so there was no point in continuing, with a bike that had an obvious drop in performance. I was being passed by riders I had never seen! Nonsense. My chief technician, after several tugs and pulls, finally admitted that the then General Manager of Ducati Corse, Filippo Preziosi, had ordered him to put in a specific map, which took off between 15 and 18 hp across the board. This was because it was necessary for only one rider to win, otherwise the regulations would penalize the 2-cylinder. In fact, if only one rider had won, the victory would have been attributable to his skill and not to a technical advantage of the 2-cylinder over the 4-cylinder. My bike had suddenly become a gate. At the time, the regulations mainly stipulated that the leveling of performance between the 4- and 2-cylinders, as a result of a displacement advantage in favor of the 200-cc 2-cylinders, took place through a different minimum weight and with the use of air restrictors, by which the air entering the air box was limited. Penalties were easily triggered, in case there were more riders in the first places, equipped with either engine. The bike that I had tested in Australia was absolutely a winner, as it honestly had too much of a displacement advantage. Therefore, in order to win the world championship it was necessary to penalize the customer bikes. If the podium had been monopolized by the 2-cylinder bikes, the application of the regulations would have reduced the performance advantage from the Ducati 1098.”

“In all this my team manager, who should have defended the interests of his team, his sponsors and prevented his rider’s bike from turning into a stove, did not say a single word! In fact even today he pretends not to know the truth. yet he was also present at all our meetings. As proof of this, a few races later, when by then Bayliss’s lead in the overall standings was consolidated and when it was certain that I was going to ride the factory Ducati, on my bike the limiter was moved to 12250 rpm. All without any structural changes! That same engine could now take 1250 rpm more. Crazyooooo.
In short, engine revs were being increased and decreased depending on the overall ranking. Here is the truth I never told. I swallowed a very bitter pill, but it served me, it served me to win two more world championships riding my Aprilia RSV4. More than double the joy. Guys I wanted to share with you all this in light of these statements read and know what you think about what was said. I always read and comment with great pleasure.”

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