Doug Polen was born in Detroit on the 2nd of September 1960. Before racing he worked as a motorcycle mechanic and did not make his racing debut until he was 19 years old. Two years later he moved to Texas and proved to be an excellent rider.
He did not miss the opportunity he was given: taking part in the AMA Superbike championship.
In 1986, Suzuki organised races for production motorcycles, the GSX-R Cup, in which Polen participated as a fan of the brand. The incredible talent with which he rode the bike led him to win the prize of one hundred thousand dollars and compete in the Supersport and Superbike championships the following year.
The manufacturers and major teams began to pay attention to Polen's riding technique. The different championships he took part in were needed to make himself known even more and earn enough to live and race on competitive bikes.
His desire was to bring a prestigious Ducati into the race and to compete with the champions of the World Superbike Championship. In November 1990, he rode for the first time a Ducati, the 888 of the Fast by Ferracci Team, at Daytona circuit. The first year riding a Ducati was an apprenticeship, but already the following year, in 1991, he immediately began to demonstrate his superiority. Eraldo Ferracci, the team owner, was sure that with this rider he could aspire to win a lot, and he had great confidence in his skills. With the technical assistance of Giorgio Nepoti and Rino Caracchi, from NCR Team, Polen and Fast by Ferracci continued their triumphant march in the 1991 championship.
In this powerful team, Doug Polen won seventeen races and obtained ten pole positions.
He won the title ahead of another great Ducati rider, Raymond Roche, who won four races. The following year, in 1992, the final ranking did not change, with Ducati being first for the third consecutive time.
In 1993 Ducati asked Polen to try and win the prestigious American AMA Superbike championship and the rider managed to do so on his first attempt.
Doug Polen is remembered not only for his victories, but also for his spectacular riding style: he was in fact one of the first riders to drift with the bike leaning at high speed.