Posted: 03 Aug 2013
Despite Roger Burnett taking pole position in the first ever World Superbike race at Donington Park in 1988 and setting the fastest lap the following year, it wasn’t until the second race at Donington in 1992 when a British rider won the British round of the World Superbike Championship for the first time. Need you ask who it was? King Carl Fogarty, of course.
Dominating the 1990s, Fogarty won in Britain nine times taking including his first ever double win on home soil, again at Donington. It wasn’t until Neil Hodgson came along as a wildcard in 2000, (his championship winning year in BSB) storming to victory in the second race at Donington Park and then repeating this feat at Brands Hatch the same year. Another BSB rider, John Reynolds, also took victory for Britain at the championship’s second visit to Brands Hatch in the millennium year.
Hodgson gave the British fans something to cheer about once again as he became the first full-time World Superbike rider to win the British round since Fogarty, as he took victory in Race 1 at Donington Park in 2001. With no British victories in the UK in 2002, it was Hodgson yet again who returned to the top at a British round in 2003 on his way to becoming World Champion. 2003 was also the year of Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne’s remarkable double win as a wildcard rider at Brands Hatch on the Paul Bird Monstermob Ducati.
Reigning World Champion at the time, James Toseland took victory in the second race at Silverstone in 2005 and took his second win on home soil at Donington in 2007. Toseland also secured his first ever World Superbike double victory at Brands Hatch in 2007, helping him on his way to his second World title. Despite an influx of Brits into the championship in 2008/2009, none of them achieved victory at a British round until Cal Crutchlow’s spectacular display on the Yamaha R1 at Silverstone in 2010 which saw him take both race wins. It was a spectacular event for the Brits, locking out the podium in race one while in the second race, the top five positions were filled by British riders.
While both Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes have won on home soil since 2010 (Donington 2012 and 2013 respectively), Crutchlow’s double victory was the last victory for a British rider at Silverstone. Could this be the year this changes? With strong performances from the British riders so far in qualifying practice, it’s looking good this weekend. Will we hear ‘God Save the Queen’ tomorrow? We’d be willing to guess at “probably”…