We had a plan we would move back to our hometown where we had a lot of land but that didn’t happen. Over the years, we would come back to Australia every now and then and go up to the Gold Coast for a week or two and took a liking to the place. Looked into it a bit and saw how good the schools were for our kids and how many more opportunities there were. We live on a great spot on the river about 70 kilometers south of Brisbane, but I miss my land, I must say.
Time is really flying. My oldest boy Mitchell is 18 and Abbey is 16; they missed a bit because I’d been caught up in my career overseas. The youngest, Ollie, is 9 and does some karting, biking and had his first flat-track last week. If anyone is going to have a go at it, he will.
It was kinda hard for a couple years. My work was going back and testing Ducatis, and I was always talking about a comeback. Every time I went to Mugello and tested, I did really well but I finally came to my senses. I’ve got other things going on in my life. I couldn’t have been happier really with the way it ended, although sometimes I wish it had ended because I was hurt so I wouldn’t think about being back on the track.
We’ve got the Troy Bayliss Experience in Australia. I’ve got a two-up bike and take people on the back. It’s called the Experience because they come along. We hang out, we have fun and we ride on the track. I don’t actually do schools, I don’t try to turn them into world champions; it’s all about coming along and having a good time. I really get a kick out of it.
At this track day I’m riding the new 1199 Panigale R. I’ve ridden the Superstock bike quite often and also the Superbike, but this is the first time I’ve ridden the R model. The bike is a beautiful track-day bike, but Ducati is struggling a bit on the race circuit at the moment. It still seems to be missing a little bit of speed. The other bikes seem to have quite a bit more horsepower, but I believe in Ducati, and I’m sure they’re going to get back there. You can’t win all the time.
A lot of people talk about my pass at Monza in 2000. I got a great run off the turn and a great slipstream, I probably braked a little bit late but I managed to pull it out and pass four guys for the lead. After that one pass, Ducati grabbed me and didn’t let me go back to the U.S. [Bayliss had a contract with Vance & Hines Ducati]. And that was it. It was one of those deals where you get offered a chance and I grabbed it with both hands.
More About Troy
ENDING ON A HIGH NOTE: Bayliss retired from racing in 2008. By winning the last three races of the season, he put an exclamation point on his third World Superbike title.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: His 45th and final MotoGP appearance, a wildcard ride on the factory Ducati at the 2006 Valencia Grand Prix, was Bayliss’ only win in the premier class.
ELECTRONICS ON/OFF?: “If I was racing, I would leave it on, because I’m old and it’s good. But to watch the others on the tele, I’d take it off.”
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