Bayliss Races Again!

Troy Bayliss to replace injured Davide Giugliano at Phillip Island World Superbike Race.

Troy Bayliss in studio with Ducati racebikes

Phillip Island will stage a super-emotional first round of the 2015 World Superbike series in large part due to that fact that Australian Troy Bayliss will climb aboard the injured Davide Giugliano's superbike, racing for Ducati once again in front of his home-country fans.

Bayliss, 45, is in excellent physical shape and had tested a Ducati superbike last year, but the task is nonetheless enormous. The greatest obstacle is that he is unfamiliar with latest evolution of the 1199 Panigale (this is the official word, in any case). Bayliss has, however, kept in close contact with Ducati and he still spends quite a bit of time in Italy.

Troy Bayliss portrait photo

“I want to start by saying that I really feel for Davide and that it’s a real shame for his season to be starting in this way,” said Bayliss. “The desire to be able to return to the track and see the home crowd and the Ducatisti has always been strong, ever since I last raced. And then also Phillip Island, one of my favorite tracks, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of World Superbikes. This gave me the idea to compete as a wildcard and work with the Ducati superbike technicians once again. I know it’s going to be a very difficult weekend, also because it’s a while since I’ve ridden the superbike but I do know the track well and so hope to get back into it after a few laps. I’ll try to enjoy myself and will of course be doing my best to score a good result and put on a good show for the public.”

World Superbike fans and Ducatisti in particular find this a dream situation. Bayliss has a real, old-style hero attitude and he’s proven this since his amazing Ducati World Superbike debut at Monza in 2000, where he scored a pair of fourths riding in place of an injured Carl Fogarty. Bayliss last competed at the circuit that year, winning both races and going on to win the championship, his third for Ducati.

Read this short piece recounting Bayliss' 2008 retirement.