Max Biaggi retires
Milan - Italian motorcycling great Max Biaggi announced his retirement from the sport Wednesday.
Biaggi, a former world champion in the 250cc category, went on to finish runner-up in both the 500c and MotoGp categories before turning his talents to the world Superbike series.
The Italian posted a message on his Twitter account earlier on Wednesday which read: "Today is going to be a new day for me... things will never be the same."
He later told reporters: "I have officially retired."
Biaggi, 41, competed in motorcycling's most illustrious category, GP, for the last time in 2005 when he finished fifth in the series for his then team Honda.
His career best finish in GP was a second place behind unstoppable compatriot Valentino Rossi, in 2002.
After 2005 Biaggi lost his ride to that year's 250cc world champion Dani Pedrosa. The Italian negotiated with Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki but to no avail.
He walked away from MotoGP to focus his attention on the Superbike series, finishing third in his maiden season with Suzuki in 2007 before winning the championship for the first time with Aprilia in 2010.
Biaggi topped the Superbike standings for a second time at Magny-Cours in France last month where he claimed the title thanks to a half-point lead over Britain's Tom Sykes.
The Italian said he wanted to go out on a high.
"It's the most difficult decision I've had to make," he told reporters. "But I want the fans to remember me as a champion."
Biaggi, who began racing at the relatively late age of 17, added: "Personally I'm very satisfied with what I have achieved in my career. I've had ups and downs but my passion for this sport has never waned.
"I always gave it my all."