Whatever Happented To... Ruben Xaus?

Former World Superbike Raconteur Resurfaces at Bimota

By Aaron Frank | Photography by Bimota

Ruben Xaus raced everything from 80cc supermotos to 125cc Grand Prix bikes on the way to his first World Supersport win at Misano, Italy, in 1999. He was drafted to the factory Ducati World Superbike team in ’01, and that year at Oschersleben, Austria, became the first Spaniard to win an SBK race. He finished runner-up the next year (to teammate Neil Hodgson) before moving to MotoGP in 2004, where he was named Rookie of the Year.

His signature sideways-sliding riding style was spectacular to watch. SBK announcers called him “Spiderman” for the way he wrapped his lanky, 6-foot frame around the bike. Team directors coined less complimentary nicknames as Xaus developed a penchant for bending racebikes into funny shapes. To this day, “Xaused” remains an acceptable synonym for totaling a bike in a spectacular crash. No one could ever say he didn’t ride with a lot of heart!

Now, one year after losing his BMW SBK ride to Leon Haslam, Xaus has been hired as Bimota’s Sporting Director and lead test rider. In addition to assisting with new-bike R&D—including development of the stunning HB4 Moto2 racer—Xaus will also manage the firm’s race effort in partnership with Spanish-based Edo Racing. No details were available at press time, but the team expected to have a rider named in time to begin testing in early 2012. Perhaps Xaus himself will suit up?