Regular WorldSBK photographers offer a special photo from their archive
The photographer: Philippe Damiens
He is one of the most veteran photographers in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, even though his involvement is relatively recent. Damiens landed in SBK® in 2014, almost by chance. “I knew a Belgian photographer who worked for the team Kallio Racing at the time. He couldn’t travel to one of the Rounds and asked me if I could fill in for him. And that’s how I began! I stayed in contact with Kallio Racing and since then I work for them following the championship”, he explains.
Before that, Damiens worked in his native Belgium for the Belgium Motorcycling Federation, and even chaired a trial bike club. His passion for the two wheels led him to cover several events of this specialty and to follow the Trial World Championship as a photographer, before leaning towards the production-based World Championship.
The photo: “Shoot me doing a wheelie”
Damiens suggests a picture he took last season at Donington Park. The protagonist of this pic is Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Team), who was then fighting for the STK1000 title.
“I’ve always been drawn towards Turkish riders and I have a good relationship with them. I certainly get along well with Toprak, he’s going very strong and I think he has a great career ahead of him. I always enjoyed doing wheelies and braking, and one day Toprak came and said: “Philippe, you have to take a picture of me doing a wheelie”. To be honest, you sometimes need to shoot ten times before getting a photo like this right. We planned it, he came by with his bike lifted up, I snapped, and it came out well on the first try. I didn’t get a second chance because it didn’t happen again. I often remember that moment and that’s why it’s one of my favourite photos. And I did it at Donington which is one of my favourite circuits to take pictures, because you have some many places to get near to the track”.