News 26 Oct 2009

WSBK: Biaggi finishes out strong return season for Aprilia team


The heat became unbearable at the Portimao circuit and for Race 2 drivers and team members were forced to review their choices with respect to the first race. Michel Fabrizio, on his Ducati Factory, won the race with a 1:195 lead over his teammate Haga, and a 1:494 lead with respect to Rea’s Honda.

Byrne started off very well, followed by Spies, Biaggi and Rea while Haga and Fabrizio were slightly slower. The English driver drove the first part of the race with his fellow countryman on the Honda right behind him, as well as Fabrizio, who managed an excellent recovery. Halfway through the race, Biaggi caught up to them, but an error caused him to lose ground which he then regained and then lost once more due to another “overshot” at the fifth curve. During the final laps, Haga passed Byrne and caught up with Rea who he passed, finishing in second place right behind his
teammate. Spies’ fifth place finish ruined his recovery for the title by just six points. Max Biaggi finished just behind the new world champion, ending up in fourth place in the overall classification, the same position occupied by Aprilia in the Manufacturer’s Championship during the debut season for the revolutionary RSV4.

Leon Camier finished in seventh place, right behind the best drivers. Starting off well from the thirteenth position, Leon immediately found a good pace that allowed him to recover several positions, making it to seventh place by the eighth lap and managing to keep Corser and then Smrz under control without too much effort.

“It was a rough race,” declared Biaggi. “We made some changes to the bike after Race 1 and they didn’t help us so it was really a shame because we could have had a good result. I started off well and I tried to stay in the lead, but it was really difficult, the problems from the first race were accentuated and I made a lot of errors. Then, my physical condition made the situation worse because in order to try to recover, I had to make a lot more effort. In any case, I’m very happy because I managed to hold on to fourth place in the overall rankings, which is an excellent result, both for me and for Aprilia during this debut year. Together we reached a goal
that even the most optimistic of fans couldn’t have predicted.”

“I gave it my all in both races,” said Camier, “and we achieved two good placements. In Race 1 I started off well and during the first three laps I was very aggressive while trying to recover positions, I made a few mistakes but they helped me to better understand the bike and to drive it better. In Race 2 I was much less aggressive, I immediately set a good pace and I made fewer errors. I’m happy about how things went also because at the end of the races I was able to hold off competitors that have much more experience than me.”