APRILIA RSV4 WORLD SUPERBIKE
WE RIDE THE BIKE THAT WON ITS SECOND WORLD SUPERBIKE TITL
BY ALAN CATHCART
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEL EDGE
alf a point. That was the
minuscule margin of victory
for Aprilia's Max Biaggi over
Kawasaki's Tom Sykes in the 2012
World Superbike Championship the closest ever finish in the 25year history of the series.
In regaining the title he'd previously won for the Italian manufacturer in 2010, magic Max – aka the
Roman Emperor – joined with his
new-for-2012 teammate Eugene
Laverty (who also won a race in
Portimao) to regain the Manufacturers World crown for Aprilia.
Consistency was the key to Biaggi's title challenge, with no less
than six fourth places in a 27-race
season that saw an amazing nine
different race-winners, aboard five
different makes of bike. Biaggi
has now scored two world titles,
21 race wins, 70 podiums and five
pole positions in World Superbike,
as well as four 250cc GP world
titles to boot, all but one of them
"This is the fourth World Championship out of six that I have won
in the season's final race," said Biaggi. "I seem to like difficult challenges!"
And apparently it was challengely enough as Biaggi said
enough was enough at the end
of the season, the 41 year old announcing his retirement.
But back to 2012. Despite losing his entire team of mechanics
just three months prior to the start
of the season to the Ioda CRT project, Biaggi promptly won the first
race of the 2012 season in Australia, before tangling handlebars
with Sykes at the flat-out first turn
of the second race. Miraculously
surviving a high-speed trip across
the grass, Biaggi rejoined the circuit in last place, having lost more
than eight seconds on the leaders
Aprilia RSV4 around
the Aragon Motorland
Circuit in Spain.
There's worse ways
to spend a day.
- a handicap he swiftly set about
redressing. And he ended up
second to winner Carlos Checa
after a brilliant never-say-die ride
that ultimately marked the moment he won the world title.