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Max Biaggi: "Now Rossi will discover how difficult it is to challenge Honda"

Max Biaggi: 'Now Rossi will discover how difficult it is to challenge Honda'

Max Biaggi: "Now Rossi will discover how difficult it is to challenge Honda"

Max Biaggi has given his reaction to the departure of Valentino Rossi from the Honda ranks, admitting his surprise at the decision and warning his great rival of what was to come. Biaggi twice finished runner-up to Rossi in the MotoGP World Championship riding a Yamaha and, with the current World Champion expected to straddle an M1 shortly after his Honda contract expires on 31st December, the Roman Emperor sent out a word of advice.

"Now Rossi will discover how difficult it is to challenge Honda," said Biaggi. "I didn't think he would go and I am surprised, but he has made his choice and I respect that because everybody is free to do what they want. The championship will definitely be nicer for it."

Despite consistently being one of Rossi's closest challengers for the title over the past three seasons, Biaggi played down suggestions that he is now the favourite to take the crown in 2004. "As we know, at the start of the year my bike was not one of the fastest but next season I will be on a factory machine from race one and I have a high chance of winning the title - but I am not saying that I will. With Honda's support I will be strong and, sure, I have a chance."

Biaggi was at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday to witness the debut of Colin Edwards on the RC211V, joining a now established factory squad which also includes Sete Gibernau and Nicky Hayden. However, despite lengthy talks with Japanese HRC officials, the Italian said he was yet to discover what his exact role will be. "I haven't been told," said the 32 year old. "All I know is that I am a full factory rider. I guess we'll see where everybody is in the first race."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2003, Valentino Rossi

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