Max Biaggi has expressed his surprise at Valentino Rossi’s decision to leave Honda – and warned his greatest rival of things to come.

Max Biaggi has expressed his surprise at Valentino Rossi’s decision to leave Honda – and warned his greatest rival of things to come.

As it is expected that current World Champion Rossi will ride with Yamaha next year, Biaggi has issued some wise words to Rossi.

“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 being one of Rossi’s closest challengers for the title over the past three seasons and finishing as runner-up on two occasions, Biaggi played down suggestions that he is now the favourite to take the crown in 2004.

Biaggi spoke at Catalunya, where he witnessed the debut of Colin on the RC211V. Edwards will be joining an established factory squad including Sete Gibernau and Nicky Hayden.

Edwards, who won the WSB title with the Japanese factory in 2000 and 2002, contested his debut year in the MotoGP class with Aprilia this season and admitted he was happy to be back.

“I guess you could say I have paid my dues for a year but now I am back with Honda and I’m really looking forward to it. Circumstances last year didn’t allow it but now I feel I am on the right bike and ready to get going. Next year is going to be really good and to be honest I just can’t hide my enthusiasm for it – I’m stoked!”

Original article from Car