It was almost 30 years ago since the very first World Superbike Championship round took place in 1988 and Davide Tardozzi was the very first race winner at Donington Park. However, this round was unique as for the only time in the championship’s history, the race results were combined to determine an overall winner; 1981 500cc World Champion Marco Lucchinelli got the verdict with first and second in the two legs after Tardozzi crashed out of the second race.
In total, 74 riders have now taken race wins, the Yamaha pairing of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes being the latest in 2018) with the Championship having just completed its 31st season and the leading rider when it comes to race wins is now Jonathan Rea. The Ulsterman started the season on 54 wins but another stunning season saw him claim 17 victories to move onto a career total of 71 and overhaul Carl Fogarty’s long-standing record of 59. Indeed, Rea’s four Championship winning seasons alone have seen him win a staggering 56 races!
Fogarty’s record had stood since the end of the 1999 season with all but four of his 59 wins coming on Ducati machinery. Foggy grabbed his first win in 1992 on a privateer Ducati 888 and the following year he joined the official factory team. Except for 1996 when he jumped ship to ride the Castrol Honda RC45, he remained with the Bologna factory for the rest of the decade and had it not been for injury ending his career early in 2000, he would certainly have racked up a whole lot more.
Australian rider Troy Bayliss is now third with all 52 of his race wins coming on the Ducatis. He replaced Fogarty in the factory team and went on to notch up three world championships between 2001 and 2008. Just when it looked like he’d beat Fogarty’s record total, he retired as champion at the end of the 2008 season when more wins and titles would surely have come his way.
Despite never having won the title, Noriyuki Haga still has the fourth highest total of wins, 43, with the Japanese ace being victorious on Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia machinery.
2013 Champion Tom Sykes is next on the list with 34 wins, his solitary victory in 2018 moving him one ahead of double champion Troy Corser and another champion follows in the shape of Colin Edwards, the American a further two behind on 31.
Two more wins in 2018 saw Chaz Davies move up to a total of 29 and he moved head of 1991 and 1992 Champion Doug Polen who took 27 wins. His tally is particularly impressive as 26 of his 27 wins came in just two seasons!
Carlos Checa, Raymond Roche, Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi are the other riders to have taken more than 20 wins, Melandri taking a double victory at the opening round of 2018.
|1.||Jonathan Rea||71 (2009 – Present)|
|2.||Carl Fogarty||59 (1992 – 1999)|
|3.||Troy Bayliss||52 (2000 – 2008)|
|4.||Noriyuki Haga||43 (1997 – 2010)|
|5.||Tom Sykes||34 (2012 – Present)|
|6.||Troy Corser||33 (1995 – 2006)|
|7.||Colin Edwards||31 (1998 – 2002)|
|8.||Chaz Davies||29 (2013 – Present)|
|9.||Doug Poulen||27 (1989 – 1992)|
|10.||Carlos Checa||24 (2008 – 2012)|
|11.||Raymons Roche||23 (1989 – 1992)|
|12.||Max Biaggi||21 (2007 – 2012)|
|13.||Marco Melandri||19 (2011 – 2014)|
|14.||Pierfrancesco Chili||17 (1995 – 2004)|
|15.||Giancarlo Falappa||16 (1989 – 1994)|
|=||Neil Hodgson||16 (2000 – 2003)|
|=||James Toseland||16 (2003 – 2007)|
No less than 20 riders have stood on the podium 40 times or more since the 1988 World Superbike Championship and it reads like a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the sport with the chart packed with legendary names from the Superbike world.
It’s that man Rea who tops this particular chart too with his ten-year WSB career yielding 134 podiums to date and it’s his dominance of recent years that have seen him soar to the top of the chart with his four championship winning seasons giving him a staggering 92 podiums.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the length of his Superbike career, it’s Troy Corser who leads the way with his total of 130 rostrums spanning 17 seasons. With the podiums coming for no less than five manufacturers, that shows both his consistency and adaptability and perhaps the only surprise is that his career only yielded two Championships.
Third on the list with 116 podiums is another rider who had a long and successful career in the WSB paddock, Noriyuki Haga although he has the unenviable tag of being the most successful rider never to have won the title.
He’s seven clear of Carl Fogarty whose 109 appearances on the rostrum was achieved over a period of just nine years, which proves just how dominant he was during the 1990s.
Fogarty retired early due to injury, so one can only wonder how many more could he have racked up and the fifth and final rider with a century of podiums is Tom Sykes, the Brit moving up from seventh to fifth in the last two seasons and now only one podium behind his fellow Englishman.
Next up is Troy Bayliss whose 94 rostrums were also achieved over a nine-year period. He retired as Champion at the end of 2008 when very much still at the top of his game so, like Fogarty, could have racked up a lot more rostrums.
Aaron Slight in seventh overall despite only having taken 13 wins with Chaz Davies next up, the Welshman having moved up two places in 2018. They’re followed by Colin Edwards and two Italians in the shape of Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi.
120 riders have now finished on a World Superbike Championship podium.
|1.||Jonathan Rea||134 (2009 – Present)|
|2.||Troy Corser||130 (1994 – 2010)|
|3.||Noriyuki Haga||116 (1996 – 2011)|
|4.||Carl Fogarty||109 (1992 – 2000)|
|5.||Tom Sykes||108 (2008 – present)|
|6.||Troy Bayliss||94 (2000 – 2008)|
|7.||Aaron Slight||87 (1989 – 1999)|
|8.||Chaz Davies||79 (2012 – Present)|
|9.||Colin Edwards||75 (1995 – 2002)|
|10.||Marco Melandri||72 (2011 – Present)|
|11.||Max Biaggi||71 (2007 – 2015)|
|12.||Pierfrancesco Chili||61 (1995 – 2004)|
|=||James Toseland||61 (2002 – 2010)|
|13.||Raymond Roche||57 (1989 – 1992)|
|14.||Carlos Checa||49 (2008 – 2012)|
|15.||Fabrizio Pirovano||47 (1988 – 1995)|
|16.||Stephane Mertens||45 (1988 – 1993)|
|17.||Neil Hodgson||41 (1996 – 2003)|
|=||Sylvain Guintoli||41 (2011 – Present)|
|19.||Doug Polen||40 (1989 – 1994)|
Since 1988, 17 riders have been crowned World Superbike Champion but only nine of them have been victorious on more than one occasion and only three riders have won the title three times or more. The first to achieve that feat was the King of Superbikes himself, Carl Fogarty, with his four titles coming in a six year period between 1994 and 1999. He also finished second overall in 1993 and 1997 to further cement his status as the greatest Superbike racer ever.
His tally was equalled in 2018 when Jonathan Rea claimed his fourth Championship and, in doing so, he became the first and only rider to win four titles in a row having already become the first rider, since Fogarty (1998/99), to retain his title.
The third rider to have won three titles or more is Troy Bayliss with his three titles, like Fogarty’s, all coming on Ducati machinery. The Australian replaced Foggy in the factory Ducati team and didn’t disappoint with his titles coming in 2001, 2006 and 2008.
Six riders have taken two titles, the first being Fred Merkel who took the Championship on the RC30 Rumi Honda in its first two years. Fellow Americans Doug Polen and Colin Edwards also took two titles as did Troy Corser, the Australian’s two titles spanning the biggest gap of any rider at nine years. James Toseland and Max Biaggi are the two other riders to have enjoyed double title-winning success.
Solitary title success has been taken by Raymond Roche (1990), Scott Russell (1993), John Kocinski (1997), Neil Hodgson (2003), Ben Spies (2009), Carlos Checa (2011), Tom Sykes (2013) and Sylvain Guintoli (2014).
Titles have been won by American, French, English, Australian, Italian and Spanish riders.
|1.||Carl Fogarty||4 (1994, 1995, 1998, 1999)|
|=||Jonathan Rea||4 (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)|
|3.||Troy Bayliss||3 (2001, 2006, 2008)|
|4.||Fred Merkel||2 (1988, 1989)|
|=||Doug Polen||2 (1991, 1992)|
|=||Troy Corser||2 (1996, 2005)|
|=||Colin Edwards||2 (2000, 2002)|
|=||James Toseland||2 (2004, 2007)|
|=||Max Biaggi||2 (2010, 2012)|
First contested in 1997, the World Supersport Championship has now completed 20 seasons and such has been the competition over that period, just seven riders have wins in double figures.
Mr Supersport himself, Kenan Sofuoglu, has more than double the total of the second best rider with his five wins in 2017 moving him on to a total of 43, comfortably clear of Frenchman Jules Cluzel who took five more wins in 2018 despite the title continuing to elude him.
Fellow countryman Fabien Foret is next up on 16 wins after having one of the longest careers in the Supersport division whilst double World Champion Sebastien Charpentier is still fourth on the list with 14 wins, one ahead of Eugene Laverty whose victories were all taken in just a two-period – he was extremely unlucky not to have taken a title in at least one of these years.
World Champions Paolo Casoli and Karl Muggeridge both have 11 wins and are the only other two riders to have won on more than ten occasions.
|1.||Kenan Sofuoglu||43 (2006 – Present)|
|2.||Jule Cluzel||17 (2012 – Present)|
|3.||Fabien Foret||16 (2001 – 2013)|
|4.||Sebastien Charpentier||13 (1998 – 2006)|
|5.||Eugene Laverty||12 (2009 – 2010)|
|6.||Paolo Casoli||11 (1997 – 2001)|
|=||Karl Muggeridge||11 (2000 – 2004)|
Just 12 riders have stood on the podium 20 times or more since the 1997 World Supersport Championship but it contains many of the division’s leading lights.
As expected, given his dominance over the years, it’s Kenan Sofouglu who leads the way with a whopping 85 podiums at present, almost double that of the next nearest rider Fabien Foret, whose 44 podiums were achieved over an impressive 14 seasons.
With 13 podiums in the last two seasons, Jules Cluzel has moved on to a total of 40, just four behind Foret whilst the only other rider with more than 30 podiums is perennial bridesmaid Broc Parkes. The Australian never won a title and only took six wins but took second overall twice and finished on the rostrum an impressive 32 times.
Frenchman and 1999 Champion Stephane Chambon is next up with 29 podiums, many of these coming on the Alstare Suzuki, with Japan’s Katsuaki Fujiwara and Australia’s Kevin Curtain the only other two riders, other than Parkes, to have taken 20 rostrums or more but never get their hands on the number one plate.
|1.||Kenan Sofuoglu||85 (2006 – present)|
|2.||Fabien Foret||44 (2000 – 2013)|
|3.||Jules Cluzel||40 (2012 – present)|
|4.||Broc Parkes||32 (2003 – 2012)|
|5.||Stephane Chambon||29 (1997 – 2002)|
|6.||Paolo Casoli||23 (1997 – 2001)|
|=||Sebastien Charpentier||23 (1998 – 2006)|
|=||Andrew Pitt||23 (2001 – 2009)|
|=||Sam Lowes||23 (2011 – 2013)|
|10.||Kevin Curtain||21 (2002 – 2006)|
|=||Katsuaki Fujiwara||21 (2002 – 2007)|
|12.||Karl Muggeridge||20 (2000 – 2004)|
Since 1997, 13 riders have been crowned World Supersport Champion but only three of them have been victorious on more than one occasion, perhaps no surprise given how competitive the Championship’s been, especially in the early years when they were referred to as the ‘axe murderers’!!
The only rider to have won more than two titles is Kenan Sofuoglu with the Turkish rider having spent the majority of his career on the 600cc machines. 2016 saw him claim his fifth title with Frenchman Sebastien Charpentier and Australian Andrew Pitt, the only other riders to have taken two titles or more.
Eleven riders have won the title on one occasion:
Paolo Casoli (1997)
Fabrizio Pirovano (1998)
Stephane Chambon (1999)
Jorg Teuchert (2000)
Fabien Foret (2002)
Chris Vermeulen (2003)
Karl Muggeridge (2004)
Cal Crutchlow (2009)
Chaz Davies (2011)
Sam Lowes (2013)
Michael van der Mark (2014)
Lucas Mahias (2017)
Sandro Cortese (2018)
Titles have been won by Turkish, French, Australian, Italian, German, English and Dutch riders.
Kenan Sofuoglu – 5 titles (2007, 2010, 2012, 2015,2016)
Sebastien Charpentier – 2 (2005, 2006)
Andrew Pitt – 2 (2001, 2008)
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