Three-time World Superbike (WSBK) Champion, Troy Bayliss will don the leathers and contest the 2018 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK). Bayliss coming out of retirement is an exciting addition to an already tantalising championship battle.
There had been whispers of Bayliss contemplating getting back on a Superbike. With the news now confirmed, there is plenty of anticipation to see how with the former champion stacks up against an extremely competitive YMI Superbike grid.
Bayliss will continue his love affair with the Italian manufacturer Ducati, onboard a 1299 Panigale with the Desmosport Ducati Team, which he is also co-owner of. Bayliss and Ducati are synonymous with success, having won all three of his WSBK titles and a MotoGP race victory for the Italian brand.
Bayliss shared how the opportunity arose; “It was a situation we first considered when our rider Callum Spriggs was injured last year. Obviously, it was a big call and it didn’t quite feel right at the time.
“Initially, I did want to see another young guy on the bike but after I rode it, I felt that I needed to contest the championship and try and win myself the elusive ASBK title,” Bayliss continued.
“I definitely feel like I have some unfinished business. I have a bit of work to do in terms of fitness, but after testing the bike and running it at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival, I feel I am up to the task,” Bayliss finished.
Motorsport fans will be ecstatic with the news as they will now get the chance to see Bayliss at all seven rounds of the ASBK Championship and interact with him at signing sessions and around pit lane at each race.
Motorcycling Australia’s Operations Director, Martin Port described the boost that Bayliss will provide to the championship; “When the official word came through to the ASBK Management Team that Bayliss was making his return, it was great news indeed. The 2018 season will see one of Australia’s most elite racers contending against the likes of defending champion Josh Waters, Wayne Maxwell, Troy Herfoss and the many other contenders.
“There are few bigger names in Australian motorsport than Bayliss and it will provide a phenomenal opportunity for fans to see a Superbike legend return and compete against the extremely competitive field that ASBK currently boasts,” Port finished.
This is another positive for ASBK that comes on the back of an extremely successful 2017 season, with near capacity grids, television coverage, live streaming and scintillating racing on offer. All eyes will be on Bayliss when he takes to the track for the opening round of 2018 ASBK at the Australian leg of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on February 22-25.
2018 ASBK Calendar
Pre-Season Official ASBK Test – Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC January 30 – 31
Round 1- WSBK, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit VIC February 22 – 25
Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18
Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 – 22
Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 8
Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14
For more information and to stay up to speed with all the exciting announcements head to the ASBK website, like the ASBK on Facebook and follow @asbk on Instagram.
Photo Credit Photo 2- Andrew Gosling – tbg Sport
Troy Bayliss 2015 WSBK Australian Round