World Superbike Champions: Where Are They Now
When you have grown accustom to the high-octane, full throttle, thrills and spills lifestyle that comes with being a top Superbike rider, adapting to life after retirement can be a very difficult transition. Many former motor racing stars struggle to cope with the adrenaline void that opens up in their lives, but others have flourished since hanging up their helmet, or simply found reasons to make the adjustment much easier.
“Foggy” is the most successful and widely recognised Superbike rider ever, having claimed the world title on four occasions during the 1990s. Since retiring, Fogarty has become a controversially outspoken contributor to various superbike publications. He’s also used his popularity to venture into the world of mainstream media – he won the fourteenth series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and recently became the inaugural winner of the Big Bluff competition created by PartyPoker.
The former two-time world champion has turned his passion for music into a profession since departing the track for the final time. Before going on to become a top quality motorcyclist, Toseland attempted to gain a place at the London College of Music. Since retiring, James has been a key figure in the band Crash and his own musical collective called Toseland, who released their first EP in 2014 and even featured at the Download music festival during the previous year.
When you are taking corners and overtaking other riders at astronomical speeds, then injuries have to be expected. 2009 world champion Ben Spies announced his retirement in 2013, after a series of high profile crashes caused a persistent and debilitating injury to his shoulders. The American has now made a home for himself in Italy and has plenty of business ventures that take up most of his time. Spies has an extensive property rental portfolio, he owns a chain of Stackhouse restaurants back home in Dallas and is the founder of elite cycling team Elbowz Racing, who have become a dominant figure on the American cycle racing scene.
Even for a two-time world champion like Bayliss, the life of a Superbike rider can be difficult. You are constantly on the move – traveling to all corners of the globe, racing in front of capacity crowds and doing your bit to promote the sport as best you can. The combination of this mammoth commitment and the persistent threat of injury is bound to catch up with you at some point, just like it did with Troy Bayliss, who gave up his profession on a full-time basis back in 2008, as he searched for a more relaxing, family lifestyle back home in Australia.