Carl Fogarty – an icon of the WSBK. After the golden years of the Americans Fred Merkel and Doug Polen, “Foggy” on the Ducati was the defining figure of the Superbike World Championship in the 1990s.

The golden nineties

Today many motorsports organizers dream of the popularity and the number of spectators at the Superbike World Championship at that time, and not only those of the current Motul WorldSBK. There were still the years when a superbike was either a Japanese made Bike with a 4-cylinder 750 in-line engine or a V2 Ducati with up to 999 cc. This battle of concepts had a particular charm.

The 1997 Castrol Honda RC45 – with it, after 8 years without a title in the Supberbike World Championship, the American John Kocinski was able to recapture.

1995 – Foggys masterpiece (more translations coming soon)

As reigning world champion Foggy competed again in the 1995 season on his wonder weapon called the Ducati 916 R. His toughest challengers would turn out to be three drivers from the other end of the world over the course of the season.

The first half of the year:

Andy Meklau (Ducati) – along with the German Jochen Schmid on a Kawasaki, the Austrian was one of the few German-speaking drivers who were at the forefront of the WSBK. Last year, Meklau was sixth in the World Championship (© WorldSBK).

The second half of the year:

Carl Fogarty on the Ducati 916 R in 1995 – a difficult combination to beat. Even after the first third of the season there was little doubt that the 1994 world champion would be able to defend his title the following year. Note the curbs on this picture, which probably no driver today voluntarily would hit (© WorldSBK).

In Memoriam Nagai San – the Assen Drama of 1995
Yasutomo Nagai was appointed as a regular rider in the Yamaha factory team, the Yamaha World Superbike Team, for the 1995 season. The Japanese made his WSBK debut as a wildcard driver in his home race in the Superbike World Championship in Sugo, Japan. On this occasion he was able to take pole position for the Yamaha team YRTR straight away. In the two races he finished third and fifth out of 40 drivers who started. In the world championship, Nagai to Assen was fourth in the intermediate ranking.

Yasutomo Nagai (Yamaha) – died on September 10, 1995 after a tragic accident. Colin Edwards’ teammate was one of Japan’s great hopes in WorldSBK in the mid-1990s and had his first full season in the near-series World Championship (© WorldSBK).

The final race of the Japanese WSBK Hope
On September 10, 1995, Nagai was seriously injured in an accident during the second run of the day in Assen. On the penultimate lap of the race he slipped on the oil of a driver in front of him and crashed badly. He was hit by his motorcycle and suffered severe skull injuries. The race was stopped and “Yasu” was hospitalized. At 9:40 p.m., Nagai died of the serious injuries in the hospital in Assen in the presence of his girlfriend and his parents.

Aaron Slight (Honda RC45) – the New Zealander was often lost with the 750 cc four-cylinder Honda versus the V2 four-stroke from Ducati with almost a quarter liter more displacement. The performance of Slight in the 1995 season can be assessed even more strongly (© WorldSBK).

1996: Troy Corser – the Thunder from Down Under

With the Ducati 916 R, Carl Fogarty had won the world championship title in the past two years. The Englishman was one of the favorites for his third year on a Honda. On his bike from last year, however, Troy Corser for the Promotor Racing team, as well as Neil Hodgson and John Kocinski for the Ducati Corse works team, were back in the hunt for the title. In addition to his strong teammate Aaron Slight, there was enough competition.

The first half of the year:

Colin Edwards (Yamaha) ahead of Aaron Slight (Honda) – the American drove his second season in the Superbike World Championship in 1996. Two years later, the two teammates were to become at Honda (© WorldSBK).

The second half of the year:

Carl Fogarty on Castrol Honda – the two-time world champion on Ducati had cheated for the 1996 season, which, however, was definitely not conducive to his results. A year later, the Englishman should ruefully return to the Reds (© WorldSBK).

1997 – the year of John Kocinski

The first half of the year:

Simon Crafar (Kawasaki) – the New Zealander stayed with motorsport and provides background information from the track for subscribers to the MotoGP streaming service. Especially in times of Corona and since Red Bulls Servus TV took over the TV rights from 2019 (for Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and since then has decided limitations to a minimum program, all the more valuable (© WorldSBK)

The second half of the year:

The Honda Armada at the race in Sugo with from left Shinichi Ito, John Kocinski, Aaron Slight and Yuichi Takeda. The American was already established as world champion early after the event in Japan.

1998: Carl Fogartys third strike

With the Ducati 996, the Englishman received a new weapon in the battle for the world championship from Ducati. After US boy John Kocinski won the third title last year, the winning streak of the 916 R model came to an end. So the Italians had topped it up and Fogarty, who was brought back a year ago, should strike back with the new model. It was supposed to be tight and with the New Zealander Aaron Slight and Colin Edwards Honda had another powerful duo in their service with the RC45.

The first half of the year:

The Yamaha team from 1998 with the American Scott Russell and “Nitro Nori” Haga, who with 5 wins in the 1998 season was two more than World Champion Fogarty.

The second half of the year:

Colin Edwards ahead of Aaron Slight (both Honda RC45s) and Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) – three of the toughest opponents in the battle for the 1998 world title for Carl Fogarty. The American leading in this recording was to receive a new weapon in the title fight the following year from Honda with the VTR 1000 SP.

1999 – Foggys fourth strike

The Englishman finally immortalized himself on the Ducati 996 RS when he managed to defend his third title from the previous year. It was then exactly two decades before his record of 4 Superbike World Championship titles was broken by Jonathan Rea on Kawasaki with 5 of them (and one more 2020).

The first half of the year:

Ducati 996 – Carl Fogarty’s weapon in the fight for his fourth world title. For the 2000 season, even Honda should surprise with a V2 machine in order to beat the Italians with their own concept.

The second half of the year:

Troy Corser (left) and Carl Fogarty – Ducati’s “dream team” for the 1999 World Cup. With a total of 14 victories in 26 races, the two won the drivers ‘championship as well as the manufacturers’ title for the Reds.