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.
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: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-history-part-15/?lang=en
The second half of the year: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-history-part-16/?lang=en
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.
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.
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: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-story-17-1996-1/
The second half of the year: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-story-18-1996-2/
1997 – the year of John Kocinski
The first half of the year: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-story-19-1997-1/
The second half of the year: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-story-20-1997-2/
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: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-story-21-1998-1/
The second half of the year: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-story-22-1998-2/
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: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-story-23-1999-1/
The second half of the year: http://www.motoracers.eu/wsbk-story-24-1999-2/