Max Biaggi and Troy Bayliss scheduled to test in Mugello next week

Biaggi wants Aprilia to get him a wild card entry this season—the only problem is that Biaggi and current Aprilia rider Marco Melandri aren’t exactly good friends

Alberto Cervetti

The need for speed rarely ends as time goes by. That holds especially true for riders. History is laden with examples of attempted comebacks – from Mike Hailwood to Freddie Spencer – with varying degrees of success. The latest may be that of six-times world champion Max Biaggi. The former Aprilia rider gave a few clues on Twitter earlier this week, leaving fans guessing. "Training then more a few days I will get busy again, seriously," he wrote on his social-media profile. He then confirmed that he will be riding the Aprilia ART MotoGP bike in Mugello next Monday and Tuesday for a test.

What that may lead to is still uncertain. However, it is undeniably more than a whim. "Given Aprilia's future involvement in MotoGP, we're thinking about doing something together," said Romano Albesiano, head of Aprilia's racing department. In fact, the Roman has expressed the desire to race in WSBK as a wild-card as early as in Misano, scheduled for the weekend of June 22nd. As WSBK is still looking for a major character to increase its visibility, organizer Dorna already gave an informal nod. Receiving final approval from Aprilia, however, is a whole different matter.

While, from a publicity standpoint, saddling up a ride for Biaggi is likely to reap promotional benefits, it may also destabilize the precarious balance within the pits. It is no secret that the Roman and Aprilia's new factory rider Marco Melandri are not – to use a euphemism – friends (see YouTube video below). Given the latter's struggles in adapting to the new team and bike, Biaggi's arrival may stir the proverbial hornet's nest.

Curiously, in Mugello, Biaggi will share the track with another WSBK icon: Troy Bayliss. The Australian, who already anticipated in Phillip Island an upcoming test with Ducati's MotoGP and WSBK machines, is scheduled to get to Tuscany early to enjoy a day on the Panigale Superbike before working as an instructor for one of the manufacturer's customer initiatives.

Both of them are well into their 40's – Biaggi was born in 1971, Bayliss in 1969 – but clearly young at heart, and with some fire left in them. The Australian seems happy with a retirement that offers the occasional chance to get his knees sliding on the ground, while Biaggi – who was rumored to race as a wild-card for Aprilia in the Australian season opener this year before his former team manager Gigi Dall'Igna moved to Ducati – has already used his capable wrist to throw a rock in the WSBK pond. Only time will tell whether its ripples will reach the shore of the Italian riviera.