International Road Race Legend from Yesteryear: Fabien Foret

The international road racing legend of yesteryear, where has he gone, what is he up to now, and how does he view today's road racing sport? In this section, we ask these former heroes a series of (the same) questions. This week: Fabien Foret.

Hans Spaan in 1990

Who is Fabien Foret?

Name : Fabien Foret
Nickname : FF99
Born on : 29-01-1973
Nationality : French
Start of road racing career : 1994 125cc French championship
Active in : 125cc, French Supersport, French Superbike, WorldSSP, FIM EWC
Number of titles : 2x French champion, 1x WorldSSP world champion (2002 Ten Kate Racing)
End of road racing career : 2017
Current profession : personal coach of Jonathan Rea

How did you first get involved in road racing?

I used to ride a lot on a moped in my hometown, a friend of mine persuaded me to start moped racing and that's how it all began. In 1994, I then did my first full season in the 125cc class.

Which rider did you have the best battles with on the track?

There are many, but if I had to pick one, it would be a battle during a WorldSSP race in 2004 with Karl Muggeridge at Silverstone. After the race, we both had black marks all over our racing suits from how many times we had touched each other. This is a race that has always stayed with me.

Best motorcycle you've ridden and why?

You would automatically say the motorcycle with which you've won the most, and that's the Honda from Ten Kate Racing. I can't really say it was the best motorcycle, there are several good machines I've ridden. But the Honda CBR 600 is the machine I have the best memories of.

What is your favorite circuit you've raced on and why?

Phillip Island, that's a very special circuit. My wife is Australian, so I have a lot of ties to the circuit. I always enjoyed riding there and achieved many good results.

What is the strangest or most hilarious experience you've had in racing?

That was at the beginning of my WorldSSP career. I won in Monza, one of my favorite circuits. Approaching the final corner, I managed to take the lead, partly because I had almost no brakes left. It was a scary moment, but despite this, I managed the final corner well. After the race, it turned out I had no brake pads left at all, and to put it in racing terms, it was metal on metal.

Do you have a special memory of racing in the Netherlands?

CMSNL is based in the Netherlands

Yes, of course, just because of my time with Ten Kate. I remember very well winning for the first time at the TT Circuit Assen and they gave me a pair of clogs afterwards to wear to the podium. That was a unique experience, those kinds of things always make you happy. Plus, it was Ten Kate Racing's home race, so that often made it very special too.

The best thing you've gained from racing

As a rider, you're molded, so to speak. Never giving up, persevering despite setbacks, these are things that benefit you greatly for the rest of your life.

What did you do after your active road racing career?

I remained active in the sport as Jonathan Rea's personal coach and also within the FIM EWC as the team coordinator of KM99.

Which current or past motorcycle would you like to ride?

If I could choose one now, it would be the Yamaha R1.

For which current rider do you have a lot of respect and why?

Jonathan Rea, not only because I work for him and we are good friends. I have a lot of respect for him as a rider who has achieved a lot already, he is still very fit, knows how to deal with setbacks like no other, and I am convinced that we will see him shine again soon.

Who do you see as the greatest (currently active) road racing talent and why?

Again, I could mention Jonathan, but at the moment we cannot ignore Toprak [Razgatlioglu]. What he is showing is simply very good, he can make a difference. It's just wonderful to see that men like him, but also for example Pedro Acosta, can still make a difference as riders within our sport. That's just wonderful to see.

Who will be the 2024 MotoGP & WorldSBK world champions?

In MotoGP, I'm putting my money on Jorge Martin. In WorldSBK, of course, I would like to see Jonathan become world champion again, but we have to be very honest that he is not having an easy time at the moment. This last one is a tough, tough one, but then I'll go for Nicolo Bulega.

With your experience, how do you view the current developments within international road racing?

We all know by now that Formula 1 owner Liberty Media has become a major shareholder of Dorna. They will eventually change the sport, I'm sure of that. Maybe it's an idea to let the MotoGP class go on its own. After all, there is already talk of possible races together with Formula 1. The Moto2 and Moto3 would then need to be accommodated elsewhere. Why not combine the WorldSBK with the Moto2 and Moto3 as a new and separate championship? Manufacturers are currently a bit hesitant about the WorldSSP category, so in my opinion, this could be a solution.

issued: Thursday, April 18, 2024
updated: Thursday, April 18, 2024

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