Carl Fogarty (Ducati Infostrada) in his last season in 2000, which ended in a disaster in the second round with his fatal fall on April 23rd. For more about the earlier years of the Superbike World Championship (and former Riders and more) see our constantly growing history on this site (© WorldSBK).

How Carl Fogarty got into racing

What many do not know about some racing drivers is how they got into racing. We start our reporting with an icon from the Superbike World Championship. Before the Northern Irishman Jonathan Rea won his 4th title in 2018, this was the undisputed king of the near-series World Cup. Of course, we’re talking about “King Carl” Fogarty, as many of his compatriots used to call him because of his career successes. His father George was neither a king nor a count, but a racing enthusiast and hard-working, simple man. As his son would later tell: “Dad worked long hours and usually came home late, often after I went to bed. His passion was road racing, and he drove as an amateur, only for pleasure.”

At a national race in England in the 1970s: John Kidson in a Honda ahead of George Fogarty in a Suzuki with the number 115. This is none other than the father of the 4-time Superbike World Champion of the 1990s.

Young Carl Fogarty

“Foggy” was born Carl George Fogarty on July 1, 1965 in Blackburn, England. His father, himself a former racing driver, introduced his son to racing. It all started for Carl with his first motocross race at the age of 13, after his father had bought him a used Suzuki RM100 before that. It all started for the introverted young Carl at a 125 cc motocross event in Carnforth and he fell early in the race. But from now on he had found pleasure in it and his career was launched. When he was 18, he accompanied his father for the first time to the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man.

George Fogarty at the 1974 TT with the number 43 in pursuit of Bill Ingham at Gooseneck. Nine years later he had also taken his son Carl with him for the first time (© Isle of Man TT).

The angry young viewer

It was a key moment for the young Foggy and not that he was proud of his father’s achievement on the track. On the contrary, he was to put it on record later “I was furious with him because he was lapping slower than 114mph, the absolute minimum he should have been doing. He didn’t seem bothered about winning. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t doing everything possible”. But the boy was absolutely delighted with the thrill and glamor of great racing. From that moment on there was no turning back for him and he was absolutely convinced that he could beat as many as he saw driving there.

Carl Fogarty – the driven one. As soon as he sat on a racing machine, he wanted to show everyone and beat everyone (© Isle of Man TT).

The proof

Five years after the key experience at the age of 18, Carl Fogarty became TT world champion in the F1 class for the first time, which he repeated again in 1989. In 1992 he became endurance world champion. First he drove individual races in the Superbike World Championship on Honda from 1989 and two years later he entered for a full season and finished seventh in the final. His first victory followed in the 1992 season, now with Ducati and the year after he started for Ducati Team Ramond Roche of the 1990 WorldSBK World Champion. From then on, one of the most successful series began, which has ever existed to this day in this 1988 newly created World Cup. So far, only Jonathan Rea on Kawasaki has been able to surpass Foggy’s most outstanding milestones.

Foggy in his heyday with Anthony Gobert (right in the picture Kawasaki) and Troy Corser (left on Power Horse Ducati). The latter became world champion on Ducati in 1996 when Fogarty tried in vain on Honda to take the title on the Japanese make too (© WorldSBK).

For more about Carl Fogarty’s WorldSBK years and the history of racing, see our History.