Carl Fogarty from Great Britain on a Ducati takes a turn during the practice session for the Superbike World Championship race at the Kyalami track in Johannesburg April 1. Fogarty, the current World Champion, clocked a time of 1 minute 44.139 seconds. JN/

The World Superbike series will be celebrating its 25th anniversary at the historic Monza circuit this weekend at Round 4 of the 2012 championship, giving fans an opportunity to get 'up close and personal' with the bikes and riders that have shaped the series since its inauguration on 1988.

On display in the paddock throughout the weekend will be about 30 of the most memorable machines to grace the World Superbike racing stage, including the Honda RC30 aboard which Californian Fred Merkel won the first world title in 1988.

There will also be all the most important models from Aprilia, Bimota, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and also the Petronas FP1, which together with Benelli, is the only three-cylinder machine to have raced in Superbike.


Among the top riders who'll be there to meet the fans will be Merkel (with two World Superbike titles), Texan Doug Polen (two titles), New Zealand's Aaron Slight (known as the finest rider never to win the championship) and local heroes Fabrizio Pirovano and Pierfrancesco 'Frankie' Chili.

But the undoubted stars will be ever-popular Troy Bayliss, the quiet family man from Australia who won the series three times for Ducati, and Britain's Carl Fogarty, the undisputed king of Superbike racing with 59 race wins and four titles.

They'll all be in the paddock, and available for autograph signing, on Saturday 5 May after the Superpole press conference (at about 4.15pm), and again on Sunday after the Race 2 press conference at about 4.20pm.