Stand up Great Britain, your WorldSBK riders have achieved some big history in World Superbike!
16 years on from the first all-British podium, Great Britain has made it 50 podiums locked-out with the Union Jack. British riders have always excelled at the forefront of the World Superbike championship, right from the early days of Carl Fogarty to the current era. The most successful nation in terms of race wins and WorldSBK titles, Great Britain’s successful past in WorldSBK certainly looks to continue into a prosperous future.
It may come as a surprise that Carl Fogarty has not featured in a British 1-2-3, but he never took part in a British 1-2 either. The first ever British 1-2 came in a historic race at Donington Park in 2000, when Neil Hodgson and Chris Walker came in as wildcards and conquered the full-time riders. And therefore, three years later in Germany at Oschersleben, it would be fitting that both riders were part of the first ever 1-2-3 – although that was led by James Toseland for his first ever WorldSBK win. Two more British 1-2-3s were to follow in 2003, both coming on home soil at Brands Hatch, headed by Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne as a wildcard.
Ever since the first all-British podium, eight World Superbike titles and 173 wins have gone to the United Kingdom, making it the nation to beat in the fastest production-based motorcycle racing championship in the world. Since the first 1-2-3, British riders have taken the championship by storm, winning in 16 different countries in six continents – showcasing their talents globally. Of the 16 countries, an incredible 12 of them have witnessed an all-British podium, emphasising that it is not just talent but domination that reigns from the British riders all over the world.
Great Britain is relatively unrivalled in terms of podium lock-outs, with only four other nations able to achieve them: Italy and Canada on one occasion, Australia on two occasions and Japan on four. With 50 WorldSBK lock-outs being achieved at Laguna Seca – where British riders have been on pole every year since 2014, it comes as a timely reminder that nothing is predictable in WorldSBK – despite Spaniard Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) dominating and the revelation of Turkish rider, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing).
In true celebratory style, five British riders were inside the top six in the Tissot Superpole Race at Laguna Seca, with the win going to Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). It was not the first time that Rea headed Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in WorldSBK, with Race 1 at Imola in 2014 proving to be the first time that it had happened – which in-turn, was the first all-British podium in four years.
And there will be more to come too, with plenty of action and a high number of British riders being front runners in 2019. With years left in the life of many of them, who’d bet against even more domination from the British, although Spanish, French, Italian and Turkish opposition will all seek to halt the Union Jack continuously reigning supreme.
Watch more exciting action from all of the British riders in WorldSBK with the WorldSBK VideoPass!