3: Doug Polen, USA: 27 race wins, cham­pion 1991, 1992

Classic Racer - - WSB THE TOP 10 -

Doug slips to third thanks to the su­pe­ri­or­ity of his Fast by Fer­racci Du­cati 888 (it had a 25 kilo weight ad­van­tage over the fours) but let’s not for­get that he also took Suzuki’s first win in 1989 on an un­fan­cied GSX-R750, in Ja­pan where he spent much of his early ca­reer. His record in WSB says: 27 race wins, 17 pole po­si­tions and the 1991 and 1992 cham­pi­onships. Doug went back home to the USA in 1993, then re­turned to ride the new Honda RC45 in 1994 in WSB, but he was over­shad­owed by Slight and didn’t ap­pear in 1995, where his ride was taken by Si­mon Cra­far in Rumi colours. Polen would later take the World En­durance ti­tle for Suzuki in 1997 and (iron­i­cally) take the same ti­tle on the RC45 a year later. Doug was al­ways smooth, pol­ished and dev­as­tat­ingly fast.

Words: Ber­tie Simmonds Pho­tos: Mor­tons Ar­chive

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