Rossi v Biaggi
Valentino Rossi had no time for Max Biaggi’s insufferable pride. The fuse for their infamous 2001 Catalan GP punch-up was lit in the Suzuka Circuit Hotel restaurant during the 1997 Japanese GP, where Biaggi told the youngster to remember who was number one.
By 2001, Rossi was the one charging towards the 500cc title. But Biaggi started to haul him in. By the time they got to Catalunya the tension was palpable. After the race, it boiled over.
In the race, Rossi came through from 12th to beat Biaggi and Loris Capirossi to victory. As the three Italians climbed a staircase into the podium ante-room a scuffle broke out. VR’S team boss Carlo Fiorani grabbed Biaggi, who headbutted Fiorani, while Rossi landed a blow on Biaggi’s face.
During the post-podium press conference, a journalist asked Biaggi, “What’s the mark on your face?” He replied: “A mosquito bit me.” Class.
Rossi and Biaggi don’t send each other Xmas cards...