WorldSBK heads into the millennium
History was made as the World Superbike series moved into its second decade, as crowds flocked to see ‘King Carl Fogarty’ take his final title or witness James Toseland crowned as the youngest ever champion. The series popularity was continuing to grow, and with Fogarty retiring at the end of the 1999 season, it paved the way for the new generation.
American Colin Edwards burst onto the scene, taking the crown in 2000 as rivalries were beginning to catch the headlines and tensions were running deep, whilst Neil Hodgson was victorious in 2003. Australian Troy Corser secured the world title for Suzuki in 2005 – their one and only SBK title to date – as compatriot Troy Bayliss stamped his mark as a WorldSBK legend. With six world champions crowned throughout the decade, it was not one for forget for WorldSBK.
552 – In 2002 Colin Edwards set the record for most points scored in a season: 552. Jonathan Rea came just short of equalling that in 2015, stopping at 548.
400 – Colin Edwards scored exactly 400 points to claim his 2000 Championship.
217 – The rider with most starts in this decade was Troy Corser, with 217 wins, followed by Frankie Chili at 208.
41 – in this decade, Troy Bayliss managed to win 41 races out of 122 starts, more than one out of three.
35 – Despite these being the last three years in the series for Carl Fogarty, the Briton still managed 35 podiums out of 54 races, nearly two out of three.
25 – Colin Edwards became champion in 2002 by climbing on the podium 25 times out of 26, a record still unbeaten.
24 – In 2003, Ducati won all the races of the championship, 24, 20 of them with their works riders, Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus.
23 – In 2004 James Toseland became the youngest champion in history, being crowned just two days from his 24th birthday. A record that still stands.
14 – 14 wins were not enough for Troy Bayliss in 2002 to win the championship. That is the season record of wins without a crown. By contrast, the year before he won the Championship winning just 6 races.
9 – In 2005, nine years after his first World Championship, Troy Corser took his second crown: it’s the longest timespan between two crowns in the Championship’s history.
9 – In this decade the two longest strings of wins were recorded: 9 races. Colin Edwards set the first one, from Laguna Seca/2 to Imola/2, 2002, the last race of that season. The following year, Neil Hodgson equalled that in the first 9 races of the 2003 season (Valencia/1-Oschersleben/1).
8 – From 1998 to 2007, Ducati won 8 Championships out of 10, leaving the 2005 season to Suzuki and the 2007 one to Yamaha.
2 – The 1998-2007 decade begins with the last two World Championships won by Carl Fogarty. In 1998 and 1999, Fogarty was able to win 11 races out of 50, more than one out of three.
2 – James Toseland won his 2007 Championship with a 2-point margin over Noriyuki Haga. That was the closest the Japanese rider came to win a Championship. Haga took part in 313 races and won 43 of them in his WorldSBK career.