Carl Fogarty: Six things I know

Four-time former WSB world champion and I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! winner Carl Fogarty shares some wisdom

Carl Fogarty: Six things I know

1.  I should have spent more time learning about the bikes I raced and how to get the best out of them. It wasn’t until late on in my career that I started to sit down and figure things out with the bike. Testing the tyres and things like that on a Friday and Saturday before racing. I used to just rely on my own instinct which wasn’t always enough really. You have to set the bike up as best you can when you’re racing against the best in the world. I should have spent more time figuring out what the bike was doing and what it was doing wrong instead of riding around the problem, which is something I did a lot.

2.  I probably shouldn’t have left Ducati [in 1995]. It probably cost me a few world titles doing it. It was breaking up a winning team. It was a bit silly really but things weren’t quite right at Ducati at the time and that’s why I did it. Even on the Honda I wasn’t a million miles from winning the championship that year. It was very, very close. I think I would have won it if I’d stayed on the Ducati, no question.

3.  My proudest moment was crossing the line in Australia knowing I’d won the world championship for the first time [in 1994] – not winning I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Whatever I said at the end of that show, I’ve had time to reflect on it now and the best thing to happen to me is winning the world championship. That’s something I wanted to do as a kid. I grew up wanting to race motorbikes. In the ’94 season I’d come back from a broken wrist and a few mechanical issues and then it went down to the last race on the other side of the world. The celebrity thing was an amazing experience, it really was. I didn’t expect to have so much public support. To win arguably the biggest celebrity reality show on UK TV is unbelievable. I still can’t believe it’s happened if I’m honest, but it’s still not as big as winning the word championship. That’s the truth.

4.  I learned on that show that I was a lot more of a team person that I thought I was, a lot more patient and a lot more of a people person. That’s what I found out about myself. I think what came across [to viewers] was what I knew about myself but maybe others didn’t know, that I’m an ordinary guy from Blackburn who happened to ride bikes better than the competition at a certain time. When I was racing, I had to be a certain person to win and that’s how I was. I’m not saying I’m proud of it. It’s how I had to be. It was a selfish sport, you’re on your own and I had to be ruthless and hate other people to win. That’s what it was like for me, anyway. It’s the opposite of what I was like in the jungle and what I’m like in everyday life.

5.  The best thing is being healthy. I keep seeing people around me getting ill. A mate of mine had a bit of a stroke the other day. Having done what I’ve done for 20 years, with all the injuries, and I still feel pretty fit. I’m healthy and enjoying life.

6.  I can’t go anywhere without being recognised anymore. I went to a restaurant in Manchester last night and you’re just aware that there are people watching and talking about you. I used to be recognised every day by someone and now it’s every day by everyone. But it’s great to have so many fans, from racing through to the celebrity programme. I’d find it far worse to walk down the street one day and no one know who I am.

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