‘I’D SCRAP HELMET LAWS IF I COULD’
He is the most successful WSB racer ever is now global ambassador for Triumph
‘I ride road bikes way more now than when I was racing’
Q1. What are you currently riding?
Mostly Triumphs now that I’m an ambassador for them. I’ve got a Thruxton R and a Speed Triple R for the road and also a couple of dirt bikes – a KTM 350 SX-F and a Honda CRF450. I’m about to take delivery of a Yamaha WR250 too.
Q2. Which living motorcyclist do you most admire?
I guess I’d have to say Rossi because to still be so fast and motivated year after year at that level is pretty impressive.
Q3. What’s your worst riding habit?
Farting! My wife says it’s because I eat too fast. That’s nothing to do with riding, is it?
Q4. If you could have one riding superpower, what would it be?
I don’t need a superpower – I’m already a legend!
Q5. What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone on a bike?
On the road, 70mph obviously. On the track, about 190mph at Hockenheim. I did go to Bruntingthorpe once on a tricked-up Ducati to try and break some records but it blew up!
Q6. When were you last scared on a bike?
It wasn’t on a bike but the last time I went in an aeroplane with James Whitham flying it I was petrified! I’ve still not got over it. It was so windy we were blown all over the place and after he landed he said we shouldn’t really have been flying in those conditions. I thought “F*ckin’ hell, thanks for telling me that now!” I’m not a big fan of flying anyway but that was just awful.
Q7. How many miles have you done in the last year?
Not many because I’ve been so busy and every time I wanted to go out for a ride it seemed to be p*ssing with rain. I like to get out in summer when I can but it’s been hard to find the time.
Q8. What’s the highest mileage you’ve covered in one day?
I ride road bikes more now than I’ve ever done – way more than when I was racing – and I really enjoy it but I’m not a big-mileage type. Racing was all about winning so I never really got to enjoy riding the bike whereas I can go for a ride now and just really enjoy it much more. But I’ve not really got any mates who do big trips, we’re more likely to do a few hours on dirt bikes.
Q9. What irritates you most when you’re out riding?
Car drivers. It’s hard to relax and enjoy the ride when you’re having to watch our for them all the time.
Q10. You’ve got two weeks off – where are you going?
I’d do race week at the Isle of Man TT, then a week at Valentino Rossi’s ranch. Oh, and can I have a week to go trail riding with the lads in Spain, too, please?
Q11. Got one pearl of wisdom for new riders?
Keep one finger over the brake and expect the unexpected. Assume that every car driver hasn’t seen you. Racing was all about winning for Carl, not the enjoyment of riding a bike fast
Q12. Ever fallen off in a car park (or somewhere equally embarrassing?)
I fell off trying to show off on New Year’s Eve. There was a pub called The Brownhill Arms which sat next to Brownhill Roundabout in Blackburn and it was packed that night. I was 17 and riding a 50cc Honda MB5 with some other mates on mopeds and I tried to out-brake them all into the roundabout. I lost the front end and crashed into the roundabout, much to the amusement of all the drinkers.
Q13. Do you have one indispensable item of kit?
My Dainese leather jacket. It suits the kind of riding I do.
Q14. Which four people would you invite on a Sunday blast?
I’d probably take my mate, Jamie Whitham, as well as Chesca Miles, the stunt-riding girl, and Lewis Hamilton. I want to show Lewis Hamilton what it’s like to do proper motorsport – ie, two wheels, which is much harder than four, obviously – and then I’d just watch Chesca Miles out-wheelie Whitham and do stoppies better than him too.
Q15. Do you have a tool you couldn’t live without?
I’d probably say my adjustable spanner because you can fix pretty much anything with that.
Q16. Do you adjust your suspension?
Yeah I can, and I do it quite often on my motocross bikes. I screw it in and out and back again and it never seems to make a blind bit of difference so I don’t know why I bother!
Q17. If you could have just one of your old bikes back, which would it be?
My 1994 world championship-winning Ducati 916. Ducati has one of them but I don’t know what happened to the other bike. I should have had it written into my contract that year that if I won the title I’d get to keep the bike but I never did. The only one I’ve got is my 1998 title-winning bike.
Q18. What type of bike would you never buy?
Any Aprilia. I hate the name for starters and the bikes always seem to be trying too hard to be something they’re not. There are too many plastic bits going on for me and bits sticking out everywhere. And they sound s**t too.
Q19. Which road (or track) would you build on your desert island?
The old Assen circuit from the 1990s that I won 12 out of 14 WSB races on.
Q20. If you ruled the world, what new law would you pass?
I’d scrap the compulsory helmet law. I think that choice should be down to the individual. I’d never go on a motorway or anywhere fast without a helmet but I’d like to be able to potter along the coast at 30mph on a sunny day with the wind in my hair. ■ Check out Foggy’s latest adventures at his new site: www.carlfogarty.com