Motorcycling: Biaggi claims first Superbike crown

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The Independent Online

Max Biaggi wrapped up his maiden World Superbike Championship title after nearest rival Leon Haslam retired from yesterday's second race at Imola.

Biaggi entered the weekend with a 58-point lead in the championship with only 100 left to play for, and Haslam's failure to finish ensured the Italian left his home round with an unassailable 63-point advantage heading into the final round in France next week.

The 39-year-old Aprilia Alitalia rider was running ahead of Haslam at the time of the Briton's retirement with an engine failure in the second race, leaving Biaggi to cruise to fifth place and secure his status as the first ever Italian WSBK champion.

The weekend also belonged to Spain's Carlos Checa, who claimed victory in both races.