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45-Year-Old Troy Bayliss Will Race Factory Ducati at WSB Phillip Island Opener


Confession: Troy Bayliss is one of our heros here at MD. The three-time WSB champ is the only rider ever to have won a MotoGP race in a one-off guest appearance.  Could he do the same this weekend at Phillip Island during the WSB opener, where Bayliss, now 45 years-of-age, will ride in place of the injured Davide Giugliano? Giugliano is recovering from fractured vertebrae.

Although Bayliss has not raced in WSB since his last championship year, 2008, he was a development rider for the new Panigale R, and is intimately familiar with the Phillip Island Circuit, where he has won six WSB races in the past. We will be watching with great interest.  Here is a quote from Bayliss, as well as information about his WSB record:

Troy Bayliss ( Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #21)
“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. 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 favourite 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.”

Troy Bayliss
Bike: Ducati Panigale R
Race number: 21
Age: 45 (Born 30/03/1969 in Taree, Australia)
Number of SBK races: 152
Number of wins: 52
Number of podiums: 94

Bayliss’ SBK track record at Phillip Island:
2008: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – winner
2007: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – 2nd
2006: Race 1 – 6th, Race 2 – winner
2002: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – winner
2001: Race 1 – 3rd


  1. Gary says:

    I’d love to see the old geezer strike a blow for other old geezers everywhere. Go get ’em, Troy!

  2. MeanChuck says:

    I can’t wait to see this race! I remember seeing that wildcard MotoGP race and wondering how the heck he made it look so easy, I think a lot of the other riders in that race were wondering the same thing.

    Little known fact; Norm used to be on Saturday Night Live but back then he went by the name of Debbie Downer.

  3. PeteN95 says:

    I saw Bayliss win the pole at Daytona and his entry speed into T1 made me flinch! He then went to Sears and set the track record the first day he ever saw the track!?! If anyone can pull off a Hailwood miracle win, it is Troy and I hope he does!

  4. Dirck Edge says:

    From someone who actually knows what he is talking about … Ducati Superbike manager Ernesto Marinelli, who was TBs crew chief for years and knows him well:

    “I have known Troy for long enough to know he will not be able to cruise around and not take it as seriously as if he was racing for the championship,” said Marinelli. “We need to start safely and it has been a while since he has been on the bike, so at the start at PI we need to take it easy. He knows the bike, he knows the track, so I am expecting that he will try for the best result he can and set the best times he can. One time he rode here in testing I am sure he did a 1’30.7 on a 999 some years ago. There has never been a time that he has never surprised me, so I am expecting him not to be in the second part of the field, but to be in the first part of the field, and then we see.”

    • Dirck Edge says:

      BTW, that lap time on a bike 200cc down on the current v-twins is competitive today if you look at WSB Superpole results at the island last year.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      More info for those who don’t know. Bayliss is a fitness nut who trains regularly and has great cardio.

  5. Gordon Haight says:

    Geriatric racing at its best!

  6. Provologna says:

    I respectfully request this lovely blog stop posting such articles. This just cost me $100 fee to watch 2015 WSBK.

    You gotta love Marquez; but WSBK winner is less pre-scripted than MotoGP, increasing excitement and enjoyment. Watching Saturday night on 92″ retractable perforated screen, 1080P overhead front projector, large basement w/full light control and pro acoustic treatment, state of the art sound system (lifetime audio/music professional, co-invented all-new speaker radiation pattern beyond Dolby Atmos).

    Go Troy!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “This just cost me $100 fee to watch 2015 WSBK.”

      FISTPUMP…!!! see, getting us to come off the dime in support of the sport we claim to love so much is the EXACT point of this exercise. if we won’t do it of our own volition…? we’re not above resorting to “tricks”.

      re: “Watching Saturday night on 92″ retractable perforated screen, 1080P overhead front projector, large basement w/full light control and pro acoustic treatment, state of the art sound system (lifetime audio/music professional, co-invented all-new speaker radiation pattern beyond Dolby Atmos).

      good, my plane arrives in SLC 1:15. say 45mins to grab me hire car at Enterprise, another hour snapping pics of the surrounding mountains (travelled the area prior for WSBK), and then i’ll head south on 15. guess who’s coming to dinner…!

    • MGNorge says:

      Prov, you at home or on the Space Shuttle? 🙂

    • Provologna says:

      Hey, no kidding. Anyone in vicinity of zip code 84332 with “reasonable” hygiene habits is welcome. I would never charge admission (license violation and potential for black helicopter visit), but would not refuse one or two Modelo Especiales! Limes and nachos ready.

      Not saying Cache Valley’s geographic splendor has no equal, but it’s a step or two above San Francisco’s Tenderloin. Rockies 1/4 mile E, Wellsville Range to the W.

      How cool to watch live races Saturday at 18:00 and 20:00 hours instead of 07:00 Sunday.

  7. Chris says:

    Norm G. you have got to be some real expert on all thing’s motorcycle and racing , you could not hold a candle to Mr. Bayliss.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “you could not hold a candle to Mr. Bayliss.”

      don’t shoot the messenger.

      see the behaviour pattern above…? whenever an attack, or something perceived to BE an attack (which it wasn’t) is levied at the “ideology” or “construct” man has created for himself (one held dear and true) the response is NEVER directed at the information, but instead the person…

      this is TEXTBOOK.

  8. Provologna says:

    God bless Troy! Win it!

  9. hh says:

    Everyone is a Bayliss fan, who isn’t. He should have stayed longer, Edwards should never have left, Hayden should have been WSBK and Spies should have stayed WSBK then with the likes of Haga Corser Checca, Biaggi and Melandri WSBK would have been soooo sweet even if Mladin had never come over which would have made the incredible roster complete.

  10. Krisd says:

    Troy is a legend and a great bloke.
    Stay safe mate, and best of luck- really hope you get on the podium.

  11. Brinskee says:

    Thus is gonna be awesome.

  12. Aussie Mike says:

    Well, Troy’s win in his only appearance in MotoGP may have been the last race but he won … and he won convincely. To Norm G, I watched that race and you have to give him his due credit. He WON and that is all that counts. He is an awesome rider. Simple as that. There was daylight between him and the second place getter.
    You know it makes sense.

    • Dave says:

      Bayliss races MotoGP from 2003 through part of 2005 (broken arm). It wasn’t his first GP, he had 44 races in the class.

  13. Blackcayman says:

    Old Guys Rule

    I’d like the track, the bike and a day to wratchet up my lap times… But racing with the young men at 10/10ths…Not for me. I give him lots of credit for saying yes.

    That said, as has been noted, he is not the average motorcyclist. Rather he is an accomplished racer!

  14. Kent says:

    152 SBK races.
    94 podiums.
    52 wins.

    He has landed on the podium nearly 2/3 of the time over the course of his entire SBK career? He has won better than 1/3 of the all the races he’s entered over the course of his entire SBK career? Wow. I knew he was good, but… Wow.

  15. x-planer says:

    If any 45 year old can make a competitive showing in WSBK, Bayliss is that man! As vrooom says, the Ducati MotoGP win was surreal. You don’t just drop into MotoGP for a race and win it!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “You don’t just drop into MotoGP for a race and win it!”

      correct, you win it when it’s the last race of the season and the leading protagonists don’t want to do anything to jeopardize their standings in the championship.

      • VLJ says:

        Apparently someone forgot to tell that to #46.

      • x-planer says:

        Is that when you won your MotoGP race, Norm?

      • Norm G. says:

        ah i see I’ve struck a chord, don’t hate me gentlemen. that moment was big, but let’s not make it TOO BIG, Troy will tell you the same.

        now I’ve spoken about this before, human nature is such that it will always (even against the odds) seek to separate one of it’s own (out of from amongst it’s rank and file masses) with the goal of lifting them up in the creation a “Superman”, and here you guys are on cue.

        if you don’t believe…? you needn’t look any further than VR46 and now MM93. the same “social force” that created/is creating those individuals also created Troy. sorry guys, these are just regular human beings, same as the person we see growing old in the mirror every day.

        now if there IS a difference…? the difference is one of “opportunity”. if they “see far” it is because they’ve “stood on shoulders of GIANTS” (Isaac Newton) so this isn’t about Troy, it definitely isn’t about me (notice the attempts to shift focus), it’s about YOU and your willingness to suspend rational thought.

        • Dirck Edge says:

          You just burst my bubble, Norm.

          • TimC says:

            Norm knows lots about bikes and is a generally useful commenter on same, but his opinions about philosophy are, in my view, rather disappointing to say the least.

            Heroes have something that most of us don’t. This is ok. I’m ok being a hero in my own regard and in my own capacity and not blaming my place in society/the influence of “social forces” (or lack thereof) etc. on any of it.

        • Dave says:

          And at the end of the race weekend, it would seem the equation of hero – age = -~1 second/lap. He did great, all things considered, but he’s an older former champion, not a young, fully committed professional. The opportunity for a magical performance is hard to come by in an environment populated by the latter type of rider.

  16. pete Rasmussen says:

    The bikes up to it , he knows it well and knows the track and its an home track. Goooooo Troy. Woooooo hoooooo what a start to the season. If only Casey would do the same!

  17. jacksonk says:

    Baylisstic was one of the most determined riders I ever saw. Good on him for giving it a shot. It would be very hard for me to believe that Bayliss would ever “phone it in”. He isn’t wired like that. He may not be as fast as some of the young guys, but rest assured he will be giving it maximum effort.

  18. Norm G. says:

    E.T. phone home…? no, TB will be “phoning it in”.

    but that’s okay since it’s a healthy amount of disaster mitigation for new main sponsor Aruba.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Bayliss doesn’t phone it in. You don’t know his personality type … his biggest challenge will be keeping himself from going “balls to the wall”.

  19. Vrooom says:

    Look for a top 5 finish from Bayliss, even at 45. It was amazing how he came into GP for one race and won. Nobody does that. I don’t know that he can take Sykes and Rea, but the rest should watch their 6.

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