By 1991, the Ducati 888 had won 23 World Superbike
races and had only been beaten once. Doug Polen on his Fast by Ferracci bike won
17 races and even held the outright lap record at Jarama for a significant
period. World Super Bike had become a huge spectator sport, with recognisable
machines that riding fans could relate to, and the 888-cc V-twin Ducatis were
dominating the 750-cc four-cylinder Kawasakis, Hondas and Suzukis.
Giancarlo Falappa joined the Ducati
team in 1990 after a year with Bimota where he finished 6th in the WSB series,
scoring three wins. Known as the “Lion of Jesi” (pronounced “Lesi”) for his
hometown, Falappa was a bold and charismatic rider, and 1992 would be his best
year in WSBK.
Falappa won four of the 26 WSB races
in 1992, in a fearsome riding style developed in motocross, where he got his
start. Many of Falappa’s best performances can be seen on video, including
leaning on Scott Russell in a corner towards the end of the first race at Spa as
well as the close-run battle with future champion Carl Fogarty at Assen, which
he followed with a wheelie victory lap.