WSBK legend and MotoGP race winner Troy Bayliss said it felt good to be back in Europe and racing competitively ahead of the second Superprestigio event in Barcelona.
Bayliss is one of ten world champions in an all-star entry and will line up alongside current grand prix champions Marc Marquez and Tito Rabat in the 'Superprestigio' class.
As riders tested the dirt in the Palau San Jordi on Friday evening, Bayliss finished third in his group, behind Marquez and Lorenzo Baldassarri, with a lap time of 12.6 seconds.
“It's really nice to be here back in Europe,” said the Australian. “It's been a while since I've been over here. Of course I love my riding and I saw this event here last year for the first time and it was very exciting. I knew this year would be a huge success and there was going to be so much coverage. I'm really happy to come along and support the event.”
The 45-year old has been preoccupied with running his own nascent dirt track event in Australia, the Troy Bayliss Classic, which will run on the 17th January, 2015. With the likes of Jack Miller and Broc Parkes set to compete there, Bayliss believes there are similarities between the Superprestigio and his own event.
“I'm doing my thing in Australia and I'm trying to support dirt track racing and I think you guys are doing the same here. It's good to come here and support it. I'm here to have a good time but also I'd like to get a good result. I always want to do well and we'll see what we can do.”
Moments after emotionally speaking to the Spanish media about his decision to move to Andorra, Marquez wiped away the tears and stated the second running of the event will be more difficult than ever to win.
“For me it's a big year, another year with the American riders. With Brad [Baker], with the champion this year [Jared Mees] and with other road racing riders we will try to enjoy it,” said the four-time world champion. “It looks like the stadium will be difficult but it will be really nice. It will be an afternoon and night to enjoy the dirt track, the slides and it will be a special night.”
Moto2 world champion Rabat was also in attendance. The 25-year old, who was one of eight riders to reach the 'Superfinal' in the inaugural event in January, said he was excited to pit his experience against riders from different disciplines.
“It's very good to do this event here because it's a long time without race and we're here to race with other riders,” he said. “It's a new experience to fight with many people and we can learn a lot from everybody. I hope tomorrow the track will be a little bit better, especially turn one, but the grip of this track is so, so nice.”
Practice for the Superprestigio gets underway at 11.00 on Saturday, with racing due to start at 18.00.
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