Motorcycling legend Max Biaggi confirms retirement
Italian motorcycling superstar Max Biaggi has confirmed his retirement.
Last Updated: 07/11/12 11:45am
The four-time 250cc world champion, who also won the World Superbike Championship twice, announced his decision at Rome's Vallelunga circuit, where he began his career.
Biaggi told Corriere dello Sport: "I've chosen to quit and, unlike others, it's not because of physical issues or because I haven't found a competitive bike.
"I've turned down a contract with Aprilia that was identical to the one I had this year, with the same bike, for the same money.
"I believe I've missed enough time with my children and my partner already, and I think it's right that I dedicate myself to them because time flies and I can't stop that.
"I'm not some old politician, attached to my chair, it's only fair that I make way for the youngsters."
On Wednesday morning he tweeted: "It is a new dawn for me today, nothing will be like it was before. Onwards and upwards, though!"
Known as 'The Roman Emperor', Biaggi rode his first grand prix season at the age of 20 in 1992, winning 29 races and four straight titles in the quarter-litre category with Aprilia and Honda.
Biaggi's rivalry with countryman Valentino Rossi raised the popularity of the premier 500cc category from 1998, as they beckoned in the MotoGP era.
He had to sit out the 2006 season as Dani Pedrosa took his position and Biaggi switched to the World Superbike Championship and won on his debut in Qatar, for Alstare Suzuki.
Biaggi returned to Aprilia to claim a single win in 2009, before taking his first WSBK title in 2010 and wrestling the crown back from Carlos Checa at Magny-Cours last month.