When Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team’s Davide Giugliano sustained injury during practice for the 2015 World Superbike Championship, Ducati didn’t have to look far for a replacement.
The Australian Troy Bayliss, 45, came out of retirement for the 2015 SBK season opener at Phillip Island and round two at Chang International Circuit in Thailand. The three-time SBK Champion finished 13-16 in Australia, and 8-10 in Thailand.
But following the Thailand SBK round, Bayliss announced he was done, and heading back into retirement. Well, serious racers never truly retire, and Bayliss made this evident this week when announcing he will compete in the 2015 AMA Pro Grand National Series.
Bayliss will – of course – pilot a Ducati. His ride, prepped by Lloyd Brothers Motorsports, consists of a custom chassis stuffed with a Ducati 1100cc air-cooled, two-valve engine and featuring Penske-tuned suspension. In addition to factory support, long-time Ducati collector Jim Dillard is also providing financial backing for the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati team.
Bayliss will ride alongside Johnny Lewis, and will participate in all five mile-long races starting with the Springfield Mile in Illinois May 24.
“Dirt and flat track racing are where I cut my teeth as a junior. Everything I have learned on the dirt helped me through my career in road racing and to find myself back where it all started makes me feel young again,” said Bayliss.
“To race the Grand Nationals will be a challenge, but to compete with the Lloyd Brothers on the Ducati had to be done. Flat track is on the up here in Australia. We have run the Troy Bayliss Classic for the past three years and mixing it up with Henry Wiles, Jared Mees and Sammy Halbert has been great. I really look forward to my time in the US of A.”
“Although Troy retired from full-time competition in 2008, he always been a very active brand ambassador for Ducati,” said Dominique Cheraki, CEO of Ducati North America. “I think Ducati fans around the world will be excited about this project, as you know anything can happen when Troy sits on a Ducati.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to join a program like Lloyd Brothers Motorsports,” said Johnny Lewis. “I feel the Ducati will be the best bike I have ever been given a chance to throw a leg over in the AMA Pro Flat Track Championship. With this team and their supporters, I feel we can look forward to some great performances this season. I have been working hard this off season, training on and off of the bikes in Florida and I know that the Lloyd Brothers have been making constant improvements to the bikes to provide me with the opportunity to once again be a podium contender at each race.”
Ducati reports taht Bayliss is one of the most decorated competitors in road racing history, with 52 WSBK victories, a fairytale MotoGP win in 2006 and the British Superbike Championship title in 1999 – all on a Ducati. He is no stranger to flat track racing: in 2013, he launched the invitation-only Troy Bayliss Classic in his home country of Australia, where he has since competed against many AMA Pro Flat Track greats.
Troy Bayliss’ Race Schedule – 2015 AMA Pro Grand National Series
- May 24 – Springfield Mile (Round 3)
- May 30 – Sacramento Mile (Round 4)
- July 4 – Du Quoin Mile (Round 7)
- July 11 – Indy Mile (Round 8)
- September 6 – Springfield Mile II (Round 13)