Phillip Island (Australia), 27 February 2011 – Max Biaggi and Team Aprilia Alitalia started off the 2011 championship as key players defending their two championship wreaths (Rider and Manufacturer) earned in 2010.
On the Australian track of Phillip Island Max Biaggi, on the Aprilia RSV4, took second place in both Race 1 and Race 2, both times following Carlos Checa who, confirming the state of grace he had demonstrated all weekend, rode two excellent races.
In the first race Max did the same with his pursuers which he kept at a safe distance. However, in the second race a not-so-brilliant start forced the five-time World Champion to pursue. Seventh after a few turns, Biaggi began to mount a comeback, the highlight of which was a spectacular move to overtake Haslam on the outside in the battle for third place during the sixth lap. From the ninth lap Biaggi settled into second place, overtaking Marco Melandri, but he then had to fight off attacks by the rider from Ravenna for the entire rest of the race. The two duelled fiercely, changing places often. But Biaggi more than his adversary was always ready to respond, moving out front and earning a precious second place. Both in Race 1 and in Race 2, Biaggi dignified his performance making the fast lap.
"The results today were truly beautiful – commented Max Biaggi – especially if we think about how we were last year and the year before. It has been no secret that this track has always put us in a difficult place, but this time we worked hard to prepare as best as possible and I can truly say that we succeeded, also considering the fast lap that we earned in both races. I must thank my team for this, which was quick to analyse my observations. The two cylinders on this track still maintain a certain advantage, without taking anything away from the extraordinary performance by Carlos Checa. For the first race of the year, I'd say that we've gotten off on the right foot. Now we need to keep on working as we are accustomed to"
Leon Camier, debilitated for the entire Australian weekend by the flu and relegated to a fifth row start, raced to minimise damage. In Race 1 he took thirteenth place, staying far from the best the entire time, but in Race 2 he was a player in an exciting performance which earned him sixth place.
"I am truly surprised by the results today – admitted Camier – especially in Race 2, considering the difficulties this weekend. Before the second race we change the rear tyre and at the start I tried to ride calmly, looking for my pace and avoiding errors. Lap after lap the feeling got better and I climbed my way to sixth place. To say I was tired is an understatement, but if I think about the presuppositions I can consider myself quite satisfied. Without this illness things could have gone differently, but it doesn't matter; now I need to lower my head and get to work - there is still a long season ahead".