Biaggi open to Aprilia test role but is unlikely to get the call

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Motorcycle legend Max Biaggi is unlikely to rejoin Aprilia for the upcoming Sepang test despite being open to the idea.

The Italian team is in need of a third rider for the event in Malaysia as Andrea Iannone remains suspended pending his hearing over two positive drugs tests for a banned substance.

And Biaggi, a four-time 250cc and two-time World Superbikes champion with Aprilia, is reportedly among three shortlisted candidates for the role alongside Aleix Espargaro and permanent test rider Bradley Smith.

“As far as I know, I won’t be back on the bike in the MotoGP tests,” quoted the Italian as saying in an interview at Motor Bike Expo in Verona.

“But I really like it when my presence is required, when Aprilia calls me. Even if it’s just for fun, I am always there for Aprilia. For me, riding a motorbike remains the best thing in the world, as it is for all fans.”

Max Biaggi

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini boss Fausto Gresini also downplayed the likelihood of a Biaggi return.

“It would be really nice to see Max on the Aprilia but it would be a very demanding task for him,” he commented.

“His speed and his expertise are beyond dispute, but it’s one thing to ride on the track to have fun, as he is doing, another is to face such an important test on a new bike.”

Former MotoGP rider Karem Abraham and factory Aprilia rider in World Superbikes Lorenzo Salvadori are the other two names being considered with the latter seen as most likely to get the nod.

This is still conditional on the outcome of Iannone's doping investigation which is ongoing although after his B sample also tested positive, the timeline was pushed back to potentially beyond the season opener in Qatar on March 8th.

As for Biaggi, he is set to be enshrined as a MotoGP legend later this year and will continue to run his Aprilia-linked Sterilgarda Max Racing with Romano Fenati and Alonso Lopez as his 2020 riders.