CHANGES PAY DIVIDENDS: the best first wins after riders switched manufacturers

After Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) stunned in Barcelona to take his first wins with BMW machinery following his switch from Yamaha, it’s time to take a trip down memory lane in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. With his first win coming in his fourth race on the M 1000 RR, we’re now looking at some other riders when they claimed their first win after switching manufacturers, with plenty of big-name riders and brands featuring.

CHILI JUMPS FROM DUCATI TO SUZUKI: a mid-season victory in 1999

Pierfrancesco Chili made his WorldSBK debut on Ducati machinery in 1995 but made a switch to Suzuki in 1999 and it paid off for the Italian. Instantly a top-ten contender, at Donington he broke into the top five and basically remained there all season. However, the first win on the Japanese bike would come in his 20th race for Suzuki, winning Race 2 at what was then known as the A1 Ring circuit in Austria. It was a commanding performance from Chili, as he beat Troy Corser by almost 18 seconds over the 25-lap race.

A DREAM START IN GREEN: Rea’s Kawasaki switch pays off

Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) had shown his potential on Honda machinery since his debut at Portimao in 2008, but it was a move to Kawasaki that, combined with the ZX-10RR, unleashed everything he could do. He took more than 100 wins for the Japanese manufacturer before his bombshell move to Yamaha for 2024, but he didn’t have to wait long for his first for Kawasaki. Rocking up to Australia in 2015, he beat Leon Haslam in a head-to-head duel by just 0.039s for his first win in green.

A DIFFERENT SHADE OF RED: Fogarty moves from Ducati to Honda

Like Chili, Carl Fogarty started his WorldSBK career on Ducati machinery and, like the Italian, he left after a few seasons for a new challenge. The Brit claimed 55 wins for Ducati over two spells but a switch to Honda in 1996 didn’t give ‘Foggy’ the same success. He was able to claim four wins with the Japanese manufacturer, his first coming at the legendary Hockenheim venue when he beat teammate Aaron Slight by 0.300s and Ducati’s John Kocinski by 0.550s in an unbelievable race in Germany.

BIG MOVE PAYS OFF: two rounds for Razgatlioglu to win with BMW

Razgatlioglu made the move to BMW for 2024, and he claimed victory in just his second round – at a track he’s not won at before. A podium in Australia showed early promise, but a strategic masterclass at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where he closed down around a four-second gap to Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) in the final few laps to claim his first victory for the German manufacturer, before backing that up with a second, but very different type of win, the next day.

CORSER GOES FROM DUCATI TO APRILIA: early success for the Italian brand

Troy Corser’s early years in WorldSBK were spent on Ducati machinery, although he did have two rounds with Yamaha back in 1992. He won with the Italian brand before making a sensational move to another Italian bike, linking up with Aprilia in 2000. It was a dream start to his Aprilia career, taking victory in Race 2 on home soil at Phillip Island, with an almost two-second gap to Noriyuki Haga behind.

A DEBUT YAMAHA WIN: another Razgatlioglu move pays off

Turkish star Razgatlioglu made his WorldSBK debut with Kawasaki machinery and he did win on his Independent ZX-10RR, but a move to Yamaha paid off for the #54. Race 1 at Phillip Island back in 2020 was a thrilling affair with a four-way fight for victory, with Razgatlioglu starting his Yamaha career with a victory by just 0.007s ahead of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), while Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) – then at Ducati – was third and only 0.041s back from the race win.


James Toseland became the youngest World Champion in WorldSBK when he claimed the title with Ducati in 2004. Finishing fourth in 2005, the Brit moved to Honda for 2006 and claimed instant success with the Japanese brand. Victory at Lusail in 2006 Race 1, his first race with Honda, set the tone for the future, winning the 2007 title with Honda. His first win for them came in a huge fight with Ducati’s Troy Bayliss, with the pair separated by only 0.088s back at the end of the 18-lap race.

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