OCTOBER 19, 1998
Biaggi to test for Ferrari
FOR the last three years we have been predicting that motorcycle racer Max Biaggi will eventually switch from two wheels to four. This will come a step closer to reality in a month or two when the 27-year-old Italian tests a Ferrari Formula 1 car for the first time.
Biaggi says that the test will not be just for fun and will be a full day of "serious testing" and comes as the result of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemola telling Biaggi that he could test a car if he won a 500cc Grand Prix in his first season. Biaggi - who won four 250cc World titles - did that in Japan and is in the running to finish runner-up in the 500ccÊWorldÊChampionship to Michael Doohan.
Biaggi has ridden this year for Erv Kanemoto's semi-works Honda team but is rumored to be on his way to the Yamaha factory team if Honda does not give him the same specification bike as Doohan is currently using. Another top Honda rider Carlos Checa has already made the move to Yamaha because he feels he cannot beat Doohan with inferior equipment.
Biaggi says he wants to win the 500cc World Championship before he switches to cars but has been advised by JohnÊSurtees - the only man to have won World Championships on two wheels and four - not to wait too long before switching.
Biaggi is managed by F1 dealmaker Julian Jakobi and there is little doubt that if he shows that he has the talent for car racing a move to F1 would provide the sport with a useful asset as it expands into Asia, where motorcycle racing is very big.