Troy Bayliss News
Mention the words Ducati and World Superbike, and one name will surely surface – Troy Bayliss.
The Australian is a three-time champion with 52 WorldSBK wins under his leathers – third overall behind Jonathan Rea (54) and Carl Fogarty (59).
After winning the 2008 WSBK title aboard a Ducati 1098, Bayliss retired. He returned for a bit in 2015 WorldSBK, substituting during the the opening four rounds for the injured Davide Giugliano, but that was it for racing…or so we thought.
This changes in 2018; at 48-years old, Bayliss returns to motorcycle racing, competing in the Australian Superbike Championship, which begins February 23-25 at Phillip Island – the same weekend as the opening round of World Superbike.
With Ducati, of course. Bayliss will compete as the only pilot for DesmoSport Ducati, where he is co-owner alongside Ben Henry.
Bayliss has attracted loads of attention, and his commentary resembles a time when he was the hero of the race track.
WorldSBK reports that while speaking to fellow Australian and former rival Troy Corser, Bayliss said: “I want to be fast enough to be up the front in 2018 and anything else after that will be a bonus. There could be times when I feel really good on the bike and take a podium, but I want to see the bike up the front – that’s the main thing.
“I’ve dropped down about six kilos and been living like a monk. Beers are gone! Yoga starts as soon as I go home. Got to free up my hips and get a bit looser but I’m doing everything to try and make myself to ride these things.
“Initially, after 10 years away, everything felt like it was in fast motion. Then I looked at the times and said: ‘Wow, I’ve got a way to go here’. But I started to make progress and felt a lot more at home on the bike.”
When interviewed after his final race in 2015 (Chang International Circuit in Thailand) after substituting for Giugliano, Bayliss said: “I’ve had a great time. I didn’t expect to win, it was great to experience it all again but I’ve had my time so I am happy to go home and enjoy my family, and leave it to the young guys.”
It only took three years before that sentiment changed. And this is why Bayliss has 1000s of raving fans, which is something motorcycle racing needs now more than ever.
Troy won’t be the only Bayliss on the track that weekend; his son, 14-year-old Oli Bayliss, will also be competing in the national Supersport 300 series.