Motorcycling great Biaggi retires
Motorcycling great Biaggi retires
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 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.”
Salah 'confident' for World Cup despite shoulder injury
- Egypt’s Mohamed Salah is “confident” of being fit for the World Cup despite suffering a shoulder injury in Champions League final
- Egypt’s team doctor Mohamed Abou El-Ela said Salah has sustained only ligament damage
LONDON Egypt’s Mohamed Salah is “confident” of being fit for the World Cup despite suffering a shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid.
Salah was forced off in tears during the first half of the 3-1 loss in Kiev on Saturday, sparking fears he wouldn’t make it to next month’s World Cup.
The 25-year-old sustained the problem when he was dragged awkwardly to the turf following a challenge with Sergio Ramos, leading some to claim the Madrid defender had deliberately tried to injure Liverpool’s star forward.
Speaking after the final, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had described the injury as “serious” amid fears Salah had suffered a dislocated shoulder.
That would have ruled him out of Egypt’s first appearance in the World Cup since 1990.
Salah was pictured with his shoulder in a sling when he got off Liverpool’s plane at John Lennon Airport on Sunday.
But it now appears there is a good chance Salah will be able to join his country for the tournament in Russia.
“It was a very tough night, but I’m a fighter. Despite the odds, I’m confident that I’ll be in Russia to make you all proud,” Salah wrote on his official Twitter account on Sunday.
“Your love and support will give me the strength I need.”
Egypt’s team doctor Mohamed Abou El-Ela said in a statement that, according to information from Liverpool’s medical staff, Salah has sustained only ligament damage.
And, just as Salah tweeted his fitness update, fresh reports in Egypt claimed he had only suffered a strain in the shoulder ligaments and is expected to be back in action in three weeks.
Salah’s injury played a major role in Liverpool’s failure to win a sixth European Cup.
Ramos apologized after the match, but Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson hinted the Madrid captain knew what he was doing when he collided with the Egyptian.
“I think it is just how he (Salah) has landed but Ramos is quite clever, isn’t he?” Robertson said.
“It’s unfortunate. It just disrupted our rhythm a wee bit.”
Salah had been instrumental in Liverpool’s unexpected run to their Champions League final since 2007.
In an incredible first season with the Premier League club following his transfer from Roma last year, Salah broke a host of record as he scored 44 goals in all competitions.
He was voted Liverpool’s Players of the Year and also scooped the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards.
Salah had also scored the goal that took Egypt to the World Cup when he netted a dramatic late penalty in a qualifier against Congo in October.
“He has done unbelievable this season and for it to end that way for him was devastating,” Robertson added.
“I hope he goes to the World Cup because a nation is relying on him.
“Hopefully he’ll come back bigger and stronger.”
Egypt’s opening World Cup group stage match is against Uruguay on June 15.
The Pharaohs will then play against Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 19 and June 25.
Before that, Egypt will play friendlies, almost certainly without Salah, against Belgium and Colombia on June 1 and June 6.