The undisputed king of World Superbike racing, Carl Fogarty, took to the track at the National Speedway Stadium on Wednesday to test the latest Flat Track innovation by Triumph Motorcycles.
Foggy – as he’s known in the world of motorsports – is set to compete in the annual Dirt Quake Festival at King’s Lynn’s Adrian Flux Arena, which celebrates all forms of motorcycle dirt racing.
He said: “Flat Track racing has been growing in popularity recently, especially since Marc Marquez has come on the scene with his style of riding. It’s fun to do but people need places to go to do it.
“I’m with Triumph Motorcycles these days which is obviously such an iconic brand and I’m down at the Dirt Quake event in King’s Lynn this weekend where I’ll be riding this new bike for the first time.
“It’s sponsored by Bikesure Insurance whom I’m an ambassador for, and I thought since I’d be down there anyway I’d have a spin so I asked the guys down at Triumph if they had anything I could ride.
“They came back and said they had this bespoke motorcycle they’d built for Barbour a year or two ago. It’s an awesome looking thing though going around a speedway track it was quite an animal.
“To be honest it went much better than I thought but it is a handful. It’s a big 900cc Scrambler engine, like a Bonneville sort of bike which isn’t built to go around tracks like this but it was fun.
“The circuit is brilliant, and with its banked corners it’s fast. It’s an ideal facility for Flat Track racing as well as Speedway. I’m delighted for Belle Vue and I wish the club all the best for the future here.”
Though a rare sight amongst the methanol faithful, Fogarty is no stranger to the stars of the shale and has taken in the occasional meeting in Manchester over the course of his illustrious career.
To complete his visit on Wednesday, the multiple world champion couldn’t resist but round off his testing for Triumph with a demonstration of his skill on a speedway bike; despite the wet conditions!
He continued: “This is an amazing facility you’ve got here. To be honest I didn’t expect this at all. I’ve been next door to the old place before thinking that was a speedway track but this is just incredible.
“I came here to Belle Vue when I was a kid and through the years I’ve kept tabs on it. When you’re involved with motorsports you tend to keep an eye on things and how the British lads are doing.
“So yeah, I’ve always been a fan of the sport. I recently had my first go on a speedway bike two months ago. Well, I say that but it was really a speedway chassis with a 125cc Honda engine in it!
“I went one better on Wednesday and had a go on a 150cc which was a lot of fun, but you need a bit more power than that to really get things sliding; though the 500cc can definitely wait!” he laughs.