Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WSBK: Biaggi to GSE Ducati?

Top World Superbikes scribe Dennis Noyes is reporting on that Max Biaggi will ride for GSE Ducati in WSBK next year.
There had long been rumours that Max might stay in World Supers if he could find a team with enough sponsorship to run him on a full factory Ducati 1098, but it had looked unlikely. Now there has been an alignment of the planets worthy of the Twilight Zone. The GSE team has dropped out of British Superbikes as the rulemakers are refusing to give Ducati special dispensation to use aftermarket pistons without a report from an independent engineer saying that it would be necessary as a safety measure. It looked like GSE would be closing down, as their sponsor, Airwaves chewing gum, wasn't interested in the European market. However, it now seems that GSE have managed to find a sponsor with deep enough pockets to run Biaggi on a factory Ducati. It is thought that FG Sport, who run the championship, have pushed hard behind the scenes for this deal.
GSE have a long relationship with Ducati, and had been pencilled in for running a pair of full factory machines in either BSB or WSBK depending on where they ended up. It was GSE who ran Neil Hodgson and James Toseland on Ducatis, giving them the big breaks that turned them into champions. This would certainly make them likely race-winners, and possibly even championship winners, though Troy Bayliss might have something to say about that.
Biaggi's team-mate is rumoured to be Leon Camier, the giraffe-like Englishman who exploded onto the BSB scene this year on a Honda but sustained serious leg and pelvis injuries in a monstrous crash at the dangerous Cadwell Park circuit. (I really wish I hadn't seen the slow-motion replay of that one.) Fortunately, Camier is making an excellent recovery.
If these rumours are true, then it is great news all round. Max Biaggi is clearly an asset to WSBK, the GSE team won't have to disband after all, and Camier will get his big break, as it were!

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