1: Carl Fog­a­rty, UK: 59 wins, cham­pion 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999

Classic Racer - - WSB THE TOP 10 -

For many, ‘King Carl’ was the man who put WSB on the map – at least here in the UK. The record speaks for it­self, but much has been writ­ten about Carl’s at­ti­tude to his ri­vals. To­day, Carl is mel­lower and re­alises that he was do­ing what he had to do to keep his fo­cus and win races. “When I look back now, I can see I was pretty mean,” he says. “I didn’t need to be as self­ish, out­spo­ken and ar­ro­gant as I was – but I guess I cre­ated a mon­ster. Some­times I’d say I was go­ing to do some­thing and that would heap more pres­sure on me. And then the pre­dic­tion would come out true, but why put my­self through that? “I think that I didn’t want any­one get­ting near me or that no one had the right to be on the same cir­cuit as me; maybe my head was gone? I would say the truth though… when the bike was shit or the tyres were crap I would say it. If I crashed in the wet and it was my fault I’d say that too. When it came to ri­val­ries the press didn’t help. They’d ask what my pigs were called and if they didn’t have names, you’d say some­thing as a joke like ‘Aaronetta’ or ‘Scott’ and sud­denly it’s out there! Look­ing back it’s part of what made WSB great. “Who was my big­gest ri­val? Well, they all were and it changed from Scott, to Aaron, to Colin and Troy Corser but I think John Kocin­ski was the tough­est and the most tal­ented.”

They pretty much got the rules right, from the start… Jap fours ver­sus Ital­ian V-twins: the range of bikes was bril­liant. Okay, so the rules had to change over time, more weight for the twins and come 2003 al­low the litre-class four-cylin­ders in, but – for us – the first 15 years saw some of the best road and race bikes ever made. Here’s our con­tentious pick of the top 10!

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