Up close images, stylish shots and magical memories all come from the manufacturers who have left last memories in World Superbike
The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship may be enduring an unscheduled pause but this allows for plenty of reminiscing over the Championship’s glorious history. Having rolled back the years with some active manufacturers, this week’s in depth look at technical intricacies comes from the manufacturers that are no longer in the class. From MV Agusta to Suzuki, Bimota to Benelli, remember some of these iconic brands!
Suzuki are an obvious missing manufacturer, not present since the end of 2015. Their last win from Eugene Laverty at Phillip Island in 2014 was their 32nd and last. Champions in 2005 with Troy Corser, it was a Suzuki’s Leon Haslam that came out on top in the closest finish ever at Phillip Island in 2010, beating Ducati’s Michel Fabrizio by 0.004s. MV Agusta also have a good history in WorldSBK. From Andrea Mazzali bringing the brand to the Championship at Imola in 2004, it’d be Leon Camier who gave MV the lead of a race for the first time at Magny-Cours in 2016. They departed after 2018.
Aprilia have taken three WorldSBK titles during their time in the class, in 2010, 2012 and 2014, with Max Biaggi being the most successful rider for them before they left at the end of 2018. 52 wins, Aprilia’s first was from Troy Corser at Phillip Island in Race 2 of 2000, whilst Regis Laconi, Chaz Davies and Jordi Torres achieved their first wins with the brand too. Bimota also left, with 11 wins. The most recent came from Anthony Gobert at Phillip Island in 2000, when he blitzed the field to win by nearly 30 seconds in Race 1, one of the most impressive for the brand.
Foggy Petronas came to WorldSBK briefly in 2003, lasting until 2006 and with mild success. A first podium courtesy of Chris Walker in Valencia 2004 was one of the highlights, with Carl Fogarty jumping over the pit wall to celebrate. No wins were achieved but Foggy’s legacy was firmly cemented. Benelli came to WorldSBK very briefly as a factory from the middle of 2001 to the end of 2002 with Peter Goddard, although only with a best result of 11th. EBR made a brief WorldSBK showing from 2014 to 2015, with 30 races started; limited success welcomed no top ten results.
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