Doug Polen from the US-American Fast by Ferracci Ducati private team in 1991 to Ducati 888. For the 1993 season, his successor had to be sought as a two-time world champion, as he stayed in his home country after his second title in 1992 to drive the national championship (© WorldSBK).

The second half of 1993 – the 6th season of the WorldSBK

For the first time, the season finale was not in New Zealand or Australia, and neither was either country on the calendar. With Mexico City a real exotic came into play and otherwise the season was not like in the first 5 years. After the half-time of the season, two weeks later from Anderstorp in Sweden to Johor Bahru in Indonesia and from there to Sugo. The Japanese track, together with Hockenheim, the Österreich-Ring and of course Donington Park, where the first race ever took place in 1988, was the last remaining with an annual event. Scott Russell traveled to Johor as world championship leader. The Kawasaki rider was in the lead with 197.5 points (in Austria there were only half points due to an early termination) ahead of Carl Fogarty (186.5). Below are the first 15 after the first seven World Championship rounds.

Stéphane Mertens with his Honda RC30 in 1989 – the Belgian had finished the season as runner-up world champion after finishing fourth in the previous year. The World Cup ranks three, four and seven followed. On the road with Ducati since 1991, he was intermediate 7th in the middle of the season (© WorldSBK).

The first race of the 8th round of the WorldSBK in Johor Bahru

After his first triumph in the second race in Donington in 1992 in WorldSBK, Carl Fogarty became a serial winner just one year later. In the first run there was almost a repeat of the podium from the second race in Anderstorp before. The Englishman defeated Russell by 3.46 seconds this time, while Fabrizio Pirovano lost 12.15 seconds to the winner. The New Zealander Aaron Slight as a Kawasaki team-mate of the runner-up took fourth place ahead of Stéphane Mertens and Piergiorgio Bontempi. With a total of 8 retirements, exactly 15 riders crossed the finish line from Indonesia in the first run.

One race earlier, Fogarty saw the podium at the top and to the left of him, Russell, but next to him was Falappa, as can be seen in the picture, and in Johor Bahru his compatriot Fabrizio Pirovano was standing in his place on the right (© WorldSBK).

The 2nd run of Johor Bahru
This time there was an exact copy of the podium from the first race with Foggy on the top step ahead of Russell and Pirovano again on the best Yamaha. Behind him his compatriot Bontempi on Kawasaki, Mertens, Slight and Rob Phillis. The Australian Kawasaki rider had finished third in the previous year, but only drove the World Championship round in Indonesia in 1993. He later reported that he had been fooled on his contract for that season. He was originally promised full World Championship participation, but later it would only have been a year with races in Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia. Below is the list of results from the second race in Indonesia.

The return to Japan for World Championship round 9

Again it went to Sugo for the Japanese round before the entourage made its way back to Europe. Like a week before in Indonesia again in sunny weather and dry conditions. The first race marked the fifth race win for Carl Fogarty in a row. The two strong Japanese Keiichi Kitagawa and Shoichi Tsukamoto (both Kawasaki) took no account of the World Cup situation of their brand colleague Russell, who only finished in seventh place behind Mertens, Falappa, Slight and Pirovano. For the first time Foggy led the World Cup with 246.5 points ahead of the American with 239.5. But the Englishman shouldn’t be happy about his leadership for long.

Before the start in Sugo 1993, Fogarty (Ducati), Kitagawa, Russell, Slight and Tsukamogo (all Kawasaki) from the front. Five drivers on a row would of course be unthinkable these days, but in the 1990s this was still completely normal. After all, the earlier usual sliding starts had already been abolished (© WorldSBK).

The second race of Sugo
In the second run, the newly crowned world championship leader went wrong. Foggy had set the fastest lap of the race on lap 6 with 1:32.587 before flying off a route to Stéphane Mertens. The Belgian had missed 6 laps to the finish and Falappa was also 3 laps before the finish. The victory went to Scott Russell ahead of Kitagawa and Tsukamoto, with which the US-American regained the championship lead. His team-mate Aaron Slight was fourth ahead of Pirovano and Toshiyuki Arakaki (Ducati). A Japanese on the Italian make from the country of Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha was certainly an exotic figure back then.

Scott Russell (Kawasaki ZXR-750) – the American had briefly lost the championship lead to Carl Fogarty after the 1st run in Sugo. But because of his fall and Scott’s victory in the second race, the Kawasaki ace left Japan as world championship leader (© WorldSBK).

Back in Europe – World Cup round 10 in Assen

For 5 Dutch guilders you received the program for the WorldSBK event on one of the most traditional racetracks in Europe. Before it was rebuilt in 2006, the course had a significantly different layout. Today, after the start-finish straight and the so-called Haarbocht, which only has an angle of around 80 degrees, there is still a loop before it goes onto the back straight.

In the Cathedral of Speed, as the track is also called in the Netherlands, the hour of the English came again. Foggy was able to catch up a little with a double win, but because Russell finished second twice, the Kawasaki rider defended the championship lead. In the first run, Slight was third in front of Mertens and Jamie Whitham (Yamaha).

The podium with from left Scott Russell (Kawasaki, P2), winner Carl Fogarty (Ducati) and the third Aaron Slight (Kawasaki).

In the second race the Belgian was on the podium after P3 and the New Zealander was 6th behind Pirovano and Whitham. A total of 7 points separated the two arguers Russell and Fogarty at the top, which ensured sufficient tension at the third from last event of the season in Monza.

A thoughtful foggy – the Briton had lost the defense of the championship lead with a fall in the 2nd race of Sugo before returning to Europe. With his one-two victory in Assen, however, the Ducati rider was able to catch up again and, ahead of Monza, was only 7 points behind World Championship leader Russell (© WorldSBK).

World Cup round 11 in Monza

For the first time since the 5th championship round in Spielberg, neither Fogarty nor Russell won the first race. On the 5.8 km long traditional circuit it was for the first time this season Aaron Slight who crossed the finish line in the rain ahead of Russell, Pirovano and Fogarty. The US American Tripp Nobles (Honda) came in sixth, ahead of the Swede Christer Lindholm and the Portuguese Alex Vieira (both Yamaha). Countless drivers had crashed, including Bontempi, Mertens, Falappa, Whitham and the former 500cc rider Virginio Ferrari (Ducati).

Alex Vieira (Yamaha FZR-750R) – the Portuguese made it into the points several times in the 1993 season and with 7th place in Monza achieved his best result by far this year (© WorldSBK).

The 2nd run in Monza
In the second race there was an extremely close decision about victory. In the end, in wet conditions, it was Giancarlo Falappa again who was ahead of the game. The warrior won run 2 ahead of Slight, Pirovano and Fogarty. Russell finished fifth, 18.161 seconds behind the winner. They were followed by Mauro Lucchiari, Stéphane Mertens, Piergiorgio Bontempi and Christer Lindholm. The fight for the world title remained exciting and the two top people were still less than 10 points apart. Russell remained the leader with 321.5 points, ahead of Foggy with 312.5 and Slight (258). Since the 14th round of the World Championship planned for Mexico City was canceled, only these three drivers were eligible for the title, because from now on only 80 points were available. Pirovano, fourth in the World Championship with 232 points, theoretically also had no chance of becoming champion in his 6th year.

Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha) – 1990 and 1992 double winner in Monza and in the rain again in the 1993 season with two third places on the podium. The Italian’s hometown was right on the track, which meant that the cheering of the local spectators at his successes was boundless (© WorldSBK). 

Penultimate Championship round in Donington

Scott Russell emphasized in interviews after the decisive World Championship round in Donington Park that he would have been particularly pleased to have been able to beat Carl Fogarty in his home race. But it was not an easy piece of work that the American had to cope with. In the first race, the two opponents were only 0.65 seconds apart. A little more than 4 seconds behind teammate and winner Russell, Aaron Slight took third place ahead of Pirovano, Bontempi and the Englishman Brian Morrison on a Kawasaki. The Austrian Andy Meklau (Ducati) impressed with 7th place ahead of Andreas Hofmann (Switzerland, Kawasaki) and Christer Lindholm on the second best Yamaha. The Northern Irishman Jeremy McWilliams completed the top ten on a Ducati.

The 2nd race at Donington Park
The American drove for his life. He knew about the psychological advantage for him if he could beat his opponent in his home race. After Scott Russell had already succeeded in the first run, he of course also followed the “all or nothing” strategy in the second run. So did Carl Fogarty, but the Englishman from Blackburn, around 25 miles (approx. 40 km) northwest of Manchester, exaggerated in the 7th lap and flew off. Unimpressed by this, Russell drove on as if the devil were after him.

Russell with the double victory
With a lead of just 0.68 seconds over Aaron Slight, he also decided the second race for himself and thus significantly expanded his World Championship lead before the final in Portugal. Just two and a half seconds behind the winner, Jamie Whitham (Yamaha) crossed the finish line in front of his English compatriot Niall Mackenzie on the best Ducati. Falappa was fifth ahead of Pirovano and Meklau. Below is the list of results from the second Donington race.

Scott Russell (Kawasaki) in his most important race of the 1993 season – in the 2nd race of Donington ahead of Slight, Whitham and Mackenzie. His challenger for the world title in the person of Carl Fogarty had already fallen at this point (© WorldSBK).

The last Championship round in Estoril

According to the calendar, Mexico City was supposed to be the World Cup final after that, but this event was canceled early. So Estoril was the last chance for Foggy to win the title for himself and for Ducati. But on his own he could not do this with already 32 points on Russell. A seventh place for the American would be enough for him to become world champion as the successor to his popular compatriot Doug Polen (Ducati). Conversely, the Englishman had to win both races, while Russell was not allowed to collect more than 8 points. It had still rained on Sunday morning, but now the sun was shining and the track was still damp, but began to dry up again. However, it still had a few slippery spots and extreme caution was required.

Start of the all-important final on the Circuito do Estoril in Portugal, with the number 11 World Championship leader Russell on the Kawasaki and Carl Fogarty (Ducati) with the number 4 (© WorldSBK).

The preliminary decision for the world title in run 1

It should only take three rounds for the fight for the world title to be decided. Carl Fogarty took care of it himself with his fall in 6th place. After the start, Piergiorgio Bontempi was first in front of Aaron Slight, Scott Russell and the Englishman. Shortly afterwards Giancarlo Falappa worked his way past Foggy and also overtook the world championship leader in the second lap. In the third lap the Italian daredevil was already leading in front of Bontempi, Pirovano and Russell when Fogarty, who had meanwhile dropped to 6th place, was suddenly missing. With that the world championship was already decided and that the American had to give up in the 8th lap due to clutch damage on his Kawasaki, no longer played a role. In the end, Pirovano won the first run ahead of Bontempi, Slight and Falappa.

Scott Russell (Kawasaki ZXR-750) was the first world champion for Kawasaki and it would take a long time before an Englishman and then a Northern Irishman followed in his footsteps (© WorldSBK).
Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha FZR-750R) – the Italian won the first and only race of the season with the first run in Estoril. For the sixth time since the WSBK was founded, the northern Italian became the best Yamaha rider in 1993 and was never worse than fifth. In the first year in 1988 and 1999 he became vice world champion again (© WorldSBK).

The second run of Estoril
Fogarty drove the fastest lap in the 8th and won with 8.913 seconds ahead of the new world champion. He had 5 wins for his world championship title, while the Englishman, despite 11 of them, only got the runner-up world championship in the end. Russell’s Muzzy Kawasaki team-mate Aaron Slight was enough to win third place in the World Championship, while Giancarlo Falappa had triumphed 5 times and was only fifth behind Fabrizio Pirovano in the end. Below is the results sheet for the 2nd race.

The podium after the 1st Estoril race, from left Piergiorgio Bontempi (P2, Kawasaki), winner Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha) and Aaron Slight in a Kawasaki with P3 (© WorldSBK).

Ranking of the Superbike World Championship 1993 – P1 to 40

The 3 drivers with the most wins of the season. From left world champions Scott Russell (Kawasaki, 5 wins), Giancarlo Falappa (Ducati, 7) and Carl Fogarty (Ducati, 11). The title went to the driver with the highest consistency (© WorldSBK).

Rank 41 to 75

Manufacturers World Championship 1993

The two title rivals from 1993: Carl Fogarty (Ducati) on the left and the joker and first world champion for Kawasaki, Scott Russell. The Italians only won the manufacturers’ rating this year (© WorldSBK).

WorldSBK season 1994: