Interview with a Milestone

The King and the Queen.

Carl “Foggy” Fogarty talks about his Ducati 916 and the new Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916

It was 1994 when the world of motorcycles saw the appearance of this groundbreaking bike, whose elegant design and innovative technology instantly became an icon of style and timeless beauty.

And victory. While seeing the new Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 for the first time, Carl Fogarty speaks about his relationship with Ducati 916 and those unforgettable moments that are still in the hearts of Ducati and Superbike fans all over the world.

The King and the Queen

What does 916 mean for Carl Fogarty?

The Ducati 916 represents my past, my history. I had so much success with this bike, and so much fun. We really developed a relationship I could say. In a way we’ve been brothers in arms, we started together in 1994, with a lot of expectations, a lot to demonstrate and a lot of hunger for victory. We had a long run together, it’s more than a bike for me. It’s more like a part of my life I will always be connected to, as it is for all my friends at Ducati, my Italian family in Borgo Panigale.

Making Superbike happen

As for Ducati, 916 was a real turning point in its then 60-year long history. Born from the genius of Massimo Tamburini - the Michelangelo of motorcycling - 916 was the perfect synthesis of Ducati traditions and future aspirations.

Along with its lifestyle soulmate, the Ducati Monster, the 916 became the flagship through which the company expanded its borders, the symbol of an evolutionary and revolutionary process that culminated in the modern logo created by Massimo Vignelli, the Maestro of Italian Design, and the Style, Sophistication and Performance DNA that unmistakably differentiates Le Rosse from Borgo Panigale to motorcycle passionates worldwide.

And what does 916 mean to Superbike Fans in your opinion?

I think World SBK fans around the world, no matter what brand or rider, support and recognize Ducati 916 as the most iconic superbike. The 916 concept had so much success in the past, it brought together so many fans, and it really represented a shift for the Ducati brand worldwide. But even now, when you look at it, it looks like a brand-new model, and you can’t say that about many bikes. It really is incredible, a special bike indeed.

If you think about it, the ‘90s was the age of the World SBK. We had a lot of visibility and fans worldwide were very passionate. Our bikes had the same look of the street versions, but in fact the World SBK championship was the four-stroke equivalent of MotoGP, where they used to race with two-stroke bikes. Dominating the line in those years was part of many fans’ dreams. Riding bikes that they could actually buy, while putting up fights that were way more spectacular than MotoGP’s.

I think fans recognize that. And I think 916 represents the apex of that culture. It’s like Senna’s McLaren or Schumacher’s Ferrari for Formula1’s fans. It is a real privilege to be part of this.

Was there ever a moment you realized that you and 916 were making history?

At the time, when I was racing on a Ducati 916, did not have any idea that history was being made or something special was being created, we just wanted to win races. Maybe it sounds obvious, but it’s true. We worked hard race after race, just thinking about what was coming next without considering the bigger picture. 

But now, when I look back on it, I see how the two names (Carl Fogarty and Ducati 916) really did become iconic for the sport and important for the racing community worldwide. I’m very proud of that. And to be honest I don’t think winning races is everything. There has to be some kind of special character and dedication. History can recognize talent, but hard work makes the difference.

Almost too beautiful to race

Were there any special moments with the 916 you want to mention?

There are two moments of my relationship with this bike that really make me smile when they come up. The first one is when I first saw it in Donington. In the box. It REALLY was too beautiful to race with. I was afraid I could have scratched it or fallen down. And even when you look back at the video recordings of those years you can see it stands out from the other bikes as if it were an alien or something completely new. I can even remember journalists wondering if Ducati chose the right bike to race with.

Apparently it did. 916’s forte wasn’t just its beauty, because the second moment I can never forget is when I crossed the line on Phillip Island in 1994. Feeling that engine at the end of a race, being on top of the world. It really made my heart explode. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face.

Our Milestone

What did you feel when you first saw the new Panigale V5 25th Anniversary 916?

Well, first of all, I can’t believe it’s been 25 years :)

Jokes aside, when I first saw the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 I was blown away. It looks great. It’s brand new, but it reminds me of the past with the number 1, the Foggy logo, the color of the magnesium wheels is the same as back in the day. But this bike has a lot of new special parts, from the amazing sound of the V4 to the chassis. I really can’t wait to get out there and try it myself. A great and beautiful bike.

Redline Magazine 2019 Issue

The power of the new Panigale V4 R, the adrenaline of the new Hypermotard 950, the colours of the Joyvolution and much more. The latest edition of the Redline Magazine is filled with exciting stories. Get the printed version of the Redline Magazine 2019, take a full ride in the Ducati world!

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