Former Superbike world champion Troy Balyliss poses for the media ahead of the World Superbikes World Championship Australian Round at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Feb. 19, 2015 in Phillip Island, Australia.
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Sometimes racing greats make a decision to retire from motor racing while they’re still at the top of their game.
Such was the case of Australian Troy Bayliss, who won the World Superbike championship for the third time in 2008, and then went off to enjoy retirement.
However, retirement from World Superbike racing didn’t exactly mean a retirement from racing entirely, as Bayliss has competed in V8 SuperCar and Australian Porsche Carrera Cup races since then, as well as testing a Ducati 1198 in May 2010.
Article continues below ...
Indeed, it seems Bayliss still has the racing bug as, at the age of 45, he announced that he would be competing at this weekend’s 2015 World Superbike series opener at Phillip Island.
This announcement comes after Aruba.it Ducati rider Davide Giugliano fractured two vertebrae in a crash on Monday and will not be able to race for another three months.
“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, who will bring the No. 21 back to the track this weekend.
“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.”