1995: The second half of the 8th WorldSBK season
In the first half of the season, the reigning world champion Carl Fogarty had won no less than 7 out of 12 races. Above all, however, he had always finished second in all the other World Championship races. The Englishman therefore led the World Cup with 275 points ahead of Aaron Slight (Honda, 161), Troy Corser (Ducati, 134), Fabrizio Pirovano (Ducati, 118) and Pierfrancesco Chili (Ducati, 117). The Ducati works rider had won his 29th race of his career at the Salzburgring since Donington in 1992. The man from Blackburn in North West England had already surpassed Doug Polen’s previous record by two victories. From now on, Foggy would remain the record holder for a very long time, until a man from Northern Ireland would clearly outbid him many years later.
The calendar of the 1995 season
After the first six rounds of Europe, it went back to the USA for the first time since 1991. After 4 stops in Brainerd from 1988 to 1991, however, a new route was on the calendar this time. The motorcycle world championship had already held six Grand Prix there between 1988 and 1994 with a break in 1992.
Round 7 in Laguna Seca – the premiere in California
Only 2 weeks after the Salzburgring, the WorldSBK convoy made its first appearance on the fascinating circuit in the USA. And there was to be a second premiere, which World Championship leader Carl Fogarty was less happy about. So far, the Englishman had finished in at least second place in all 12 races. But this time everything turned out differently, and it was Anthony Gobert (Kawasaki) and Troy Corser (Ducati) who played the main roles in the first run. The two Australians didn’t give each other an inch and at the finish the Kawasaki driver was 0.34 seconds ahead of his compatriot. Third place went to the Canadian wildcard driver Miguel Duhamel in front of the American Mike Hale (both Honda) and Foggy. His brand colleagues Pierfrancesco Chili and Fabrizio Pirovano, however, dropped out due to a fall. Sixth place went to New Zealander Simon Crafar (Honda) ahead of Freddie Spencer (on Ducati!), Colin Edwards (Yamaha), Aaron Slight (Honda) and Yasutomo Nagai on Yamaha.
The second race of Laguna Seca
This time Troy Corser dominated and the Ducati rider won his second WSBK victory of his career after race 2 at the Salzburgring in the previous lap. His compatriot Gobert took second place just over 6 seconds behind Mike Hale, Miguel Duhamel and Yasutomo Nagai. Foggy was only 7th behind Simon Crafar this time. Fabrizio Pirovano, Colin Edwards and the Canadian Pascal Picotte (Kawasaki) completed the top ten. Chili fell again, and this time Aaron Slight as well. Spencer left with technical problems.
The 8th round – with Brands Hatch for the second time in England
Of course, the World Championship leader wanted to fight back in his home country, and of course Carl Fogarty knew the track very well. The difficult course was only on the calendar for the second time after 1993 and was therefore new for many drivers. In the splendid August weather, the host showed his opponents the champion to the delight of the large audience and crossed the finish line 2.93 seconds before Troy Corser. Behind them, Anthony Gobert was able to leave his brand colleague John Reynolds behind by a tiny 8 hundredths and thus secure third place on the podium. Colin Edwards was the best Yamaha rider with P5 just 0.29 seconds off the podium. Behind them followed three Ducati riders: Pierfrancesco Chili, Fabrizio Pirovano and the Englishman Steve Hislop. The top ten were completed by Kiwi Aaron Slight and Simon Crafar (both Honda).
The second round of Brands Hatch
This time Colin Edwards achieved an impressive performance when he had to be beaten by the local hero in the second race by just 1.15 seconds. John Reynolds took third place in front of the strong Japanese Yasutomo Nagai (Yamaha) and fellow Kawasaki brand colleague Gobert. This time Corser had to be content with P6, followed by Pirovano, Slight, Hislop and Crafar. Fogarty, as the world championship leader, was already 136 points ahead of his closest rival and could hardly take the title in the remaining 4 rounds. For the first time in 1995 in the Superbike World Championship, the winner was credited with 25 points. Up until the previous year, a triumph had only been rewarded with 20 points.
Round 9 with the long-running hit in Japanese Sugo
In the meantime, the track in Japan, along with Donington and the Hockenheimring, was the only one left on the calendar every year since the premiere in 1988. There were always many strong Japanese and often Australians, Americans or New Zealanders who competed with a wildcard. This time, too, this was clearly noticeable in the ranking. Local hero Yasutomo Nagai was the most successful Japanese behind Corser and Slight in the first race. He missed his first race win by a ridiculous 0.449 seconds, which he missed on the Australian winner in his third triumph of the season. Keiichi Kitagawa came in fourth ahead of his Kawasaki brand colleague Gobert. Colin Edwards, Wataru Yoshikawa and Norihiko Fujiwara (all Yamaha) followed. John Reynolds and Simon Crafar completed the first ten. Fogarty, on the other hand, complained about his first crash in a race of the 1995 season in the 4th lap.
The second race of Sugo with the triumph of the world championship leader
After his fall in Sugo’s first race, Foggy saw a need for action. After his attack on Nagai, the Englishman flew violently by highsider while in the lead, but luckily he hadn’t injured himself. This time, however, the World Cup leader did better and stayed seated. Initially there was a fight with Nagai, but then Fogarty began to break away and won the second run ahead of Yasutomo Nagai and Katsuaki Fujiwara. Slight finished the race in P4 ahead of the Japanese Yoshikawa, Kitagawa and Aoki. The top ten were completed by Troy Corser, Anthony Gobert and Colin Edwards.
The fatal Assen weekend with World Championship round 10
Except for the terrible crash of Giancarlo Falappa at Ducati test drives in Albacete in 1994, which ended his career, WorldSBK was halfway spared from fatal falls in the first few years. But this tragically changed on September 10, 1995, in Assen. In the first race everything went as usual in the “Cathedral of Speed” and Carl Fogarty won 3 seconds ahead of Simon Crafar (Honda), his Ducati brand colleague Corser and Aaron Slight (Honda). They were followed by Mauro Lucchiari (Ducati), John Reynolds (Kawasaki) and Yasutomo Nagai on the best Yamaha. Colin Edwards was eliminated after the start and Pierfrancesco Chili supported in the seventh round. Foggy expanded his lead in the World Championships and was from now on already world champion in 1995, but one race later this should hardly interest anyone anymore.
The second run of Assen with the tragic death of the young Japanese
Up to the 14th lap everything went as usual in the “Cathedral of Speed” and Carl Fogarty was leading over 7 seconds ahead of Aaron Slight (Honda) and John Reynolds (Kawasaki). They were followed by Lucchiari, Nagai and Edwards, more than 14 seconds behind the leader. Significantly further back followed a group with Anthony Gobert, Jochen Schmid, Piergiorgio Bontempi (all Kawasaki) and Paolo Casoli on a Yamaha. Simon Crafar (Honda) and Troy Corser (Ducati) crashed on lap 11 but were uninjured. But then fate struck ice-cold. The Japanese, who was on P5, was even counted after the race was canceled as a result of his fall, but Yasutomo Nagai should not survive the consequences of his crash. He had slipped on the oil of Fabrizio Pirovano’s defective Ducati and was hit by his bike.
Early withdrawal of the Yamaha factory team
Yasutomo Nagai was pronounced dead late in the evening in Assen hospital in the presence of his parents and girlfriend. In 1995, he was the most successful Japanese in WorldSBK and at the end of the season was still in 5th place in the World Cup. The likeable Japanese undoubtedly had what it takes to become a future world champion, but fate was not kind to him. Together with the American Colin Edwards, he was called up to the Yamaha works team after strong performances in his home race last year. Out of respect for him and his family, the team management decided to withdraw from the world championship early. This also meant the end of the season for Edwards in his first full year in the WSBK, but he should come back with Yamaha in 1996.
The 11th round of the World Championship in Sentul
The last two rounds first went to Indonesia and two weeks later to the World Cup final Down Under. Foggy already traveled to Sentul as world champion and in the first race he showed himself again from his best side. From the start he pulled away and separated more and more from his pursuers. Up to the finish line, Troy Corser was already more than 5 seconds ahead of the second. Third place went to Aaron Slight ahead of Anthony Gobert on the best Kawasaki. Behind them followed the Ducatis of Fabrizio Pirovano, the American Mike Hale, Mauro Lucchiari and the Austrian Andy Meklau. Englishmen John Reynolds (Kawasaki) and Brian Morrison (Ducati) completed the first ten. Pierfrancesco Chili, however, retired 6 laps before the end with a defective fuel pump.
The second race of Sentul
This time Kawasaki rider Anthony Gobert took the lead after the start, but at the end of the first lap Aaron Slight on his Honda passed the Australian. Foggy was initially in the leading group, but had to put down his arms in the 12th handling of an engine failure. In the World Championships, Slight and Corser were still looking for the runner-up world title after Fogarty had been the defending champion since race 1 in Assen. This lap went to the Honda driver, who won the 2nd race 9.341 seconds ahead of his Australian opponent. Third place went to Chili, who was unlucky in the first run, ahead of Anthony Gobert, Simon Crafar, Fabrizio Pirovano and Mike Hale.
The decision for the runner-up title in Phillip Island
The 12th and final round of the World Cup should be between local hero Corser and Kiwi Aaron Slight. After the start of the first race, Kawasaki ace Anthony Gobert took the lead. But the Australian would later retire with tire problems at his home race. Initially, however, he fought with Slight and Corser for the lead. In the end, it was the Ducati rider who was just 0.068 seconds ahead of Honda Spearhead Slight. Simon Crafar was P3 a second behind, ahead of Fogarty, Reynolds and Chili. American wildcard driver Freddie Spencer on Ducati took 7th place ahead of Australians Kirk McCarthy (Honda), Mat Mladin (Kawasaki) and Shawn Giles (Ducati).
The second run in Australia and the last of the 1995 season
Up until his tire problems, Anthony Gobert was one of the favorites to win in the first race. The local hero was correspondingly motivated in the second race. Right from the start, the Kawasaki rider was able to easily set himself apart from his pursuers after the start. But then the group managed to catch up with him with Foggy, Corser and his brand colleague Reynolds. Carl Fogarty took the lead shortly afterwards, but lost it again to Gobert within half a lap. In the meantime, Slight and Crafar had caught up with the leading group. In the end, the first four drivers crossed the finish line within half a second. Gobert was ahead of Foggy, Corser and Slight, while Crafar was fifth ahead of Mike Hale. The runner-up title went to Troy Corser and Aaron Slight had to be satisfied with 3rd place in the World Championship.
Ranking of the Superbike World Championship 1995
Manufacturers World Championship 1995
Below is the evaluation with the placements (not the World Cup points) that counted for the ranking of the Manufacturers World Championship. Unfortunately, Suzuki did not enter the factory in the first years of the Superbike World Championship, which is why the other 3 Japanese manufacturers, together with Ducati, primarily split the cake among themselves. With their V2 engines, the Ducati were allowed to have a displacement of up to 1000cc, while the four-cylinder bikes were limited to 750cc.
The year 1996: coming soon..